Objective: To report 9 years' experience of an Australian memory clinic using the -Cambridge Mental Disorders in the Elderly Examination (CAMDEX) assessment schedule, summarizing patient demographics, diagnoses at presentation and the utility of four -instruments used in distinguishing patients with and without dementia.Methods: All patients seen at the clinic between December 1989 and September 1998 were assessed using the CAMDEX. Diagnoses were determined according to criteria of the International Classification of Diseases, tenth edition (ICD-10).Results: The mean age of 577 patients seen was 72.9 years and 60.8% were female. Over 40% fulfilled ICD-10 diagnostic criteria for dementia in Alzheimer's disease. A further 24% had another dementing illness. Only 28 patients were 'normal'. There was no significant difference in the ability of the 107-item Cambridge cognitive examination, the 30-item -mini-mental state examination, the 10-item abbreviated mental test score and the 26-item informant questionnaire on cognitive decline in the elderly to differentiate dementia patients from those who were normal or had functional psychiatric disorders. The four cognitive screening tools had high correlations with one another (r = - 0.57 to 0.93).Conclusion: Patient demographics and diagnoses were similar to those found in other clinics. Most people who attended the memory clinic had significant cognitive or psychiatric disorders.