This chapter reviews commonly used cognitive screening instruments and brief batteries for dementia. Cognitive impairment is the most frequent mental health syndrome affecting older adults and is a leading cause of disability, psychological distress, and health care expenditures. Dementia syndromes such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) have grown in prevalence as advances in medical care have increased longevity. Early identification of cognitive impairment may also lead to empowerment of the cognitively impaired person and their family by giving them the opportunity to become more educated regarding the illness, which can lead to better decision-making and less stress. On the other hand, ruling out cognitive impairment can lead elders complaining of memory loss to look for other explanations. As dementia becomes more advanced, the purposes of brief batteries shift toward evaluating the impact of cognitive impairment on daily functioning, the need for environmental support to ensure safety, and a variety of clinical situations such as treatment and discharge planning. Although all instruments require evidence of clinical utility and validity, additional psychometric features may be emphasized depending upon the purpose of the assessment. Whereas instruments used for earlier detection of dementia syndromes require high levels of sensitivity, instruments used for the purpose of predicting functioning have greater requirements for predictive validity. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved..