Dementia is an important and increasingly recognized problem in Parkinson's disease (PD). The mini-mental state examination (MMSE) often fails to detect early cognitive decline. The Montreal cognitive assessment (MoCA) is a brief tool developed to detect mild cognitive impairment that assesses a broader range of domains frequently affected in PD. The scores on the MMSE and the MoCA were compared in 88 patients with PD. A pronounced ceiling effect was observed with the MMSE but not with the MoCA. The range and standard deviation of scores was larger with the MoCA(7-30, 4.26) than with the MMSE(16-30, 2.55). The percentage of subjects scoring below a cutoff of 26/30 (used by others to detect mild cognitive impairment) was higher on the MoCA (32%) than on the MMSE (11%) (P < 0.000002). Compared to the MMSE, the MoCA may be a more sensitive tool to identify early cognitive impairment in PD.
2007 Movement Disorder Society