The Montreal Cognitive Assessment, MoCA: A Brief Screening Tool for Mild Cognitive Impairment

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2005 Apr;53(4):695-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2005.53221.x.

Abstract

Objectives: To develop a 10-minute cognitive screening tool (Montreal Cognitive Assessment, MoCA) to assist first-line physicians in detection of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a clinical state that often progresses to dementia.

Design: Validation study.

Setting: A community clinic and an academic center.

Participants: Ninety-four patients meeting MCI clinical criteria supported by psychometric measures, 93 patients with mild Alzheimer's disease (AD) (Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score > or =17), and 90 healthy elderly controls (NC).

Measurements: The MoCA and MMSE were administered to all participants, and sensitivity and specificity of both measures were assessed for detection of MCI and mild AD.

Results: Using a cutoff score 26, the MMSE had a sensitivity of 18% to detect MCI, whereas the MoCA detected 90% of MCI subjects. In the mild AD group, the MMSE had a sensitivity of 78%, whereas the MoCA detected 100%. Specificity was excellent for both MMSE and MoCA (100% and 87%, respectively).

Conclusion: MCI as an entity is evolving and somewhat controversial. The MoCA is a brief cognitive screening tool with high sensitivity and specificity for detecting MCI as currently conceptualized in patients performing in the normal range on the MMSE.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Psychometrics
  • Quebec
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity