Is the montreal cognitive assessment superior to the mini-mental state examination in detecting subtle cognitive impairment among middle-aged outpatient U.S. Military veterans?

Arch Clin Neuropsychol. 2012 Nov;27(7):742-8. doi: 10.1093/arclin/acs060. Epub 2012 Jul 4.


The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) is a relatively newly designed test that was developed as a tool to screen patients with mild cognitive problems that are not typically detected by the Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE). While early research suggests that the MoCA is more sensitive to subtle cognitive impairment than the MMSE, there is concern about potential decreased specificity when using the MoCA. The aim of the present study was to examine the comparative utility of using the MoCA and the MMSE to detect subtle cognitive impairment among a group of 82 middle-aged U.S. military veterans referred for outpatient neuropsychological testing. Using receiver operating characteristic analyses, the MoCA was shown to be a better predictor of subtle cognitive impairment on neuropsychological testing than the MMSE. When using an adjusted cutoff, the MoCA was shown to be more sensitive (i.e., 0.72 vs. 0.52) and nearly as specific as the MMSE (0.75 vs. 0.77).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • MMPI
  • Male
  • Mental Status Schedule*
  • Middle Aged
  • Military Personnel
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • ROC Curve
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Veterans*