The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) is among the most widely adopted screening tools for cognitive impairment because it includes tests in multiple domains and is available in 55 languages. The MoCA is often the only formal cognitive assessment available when comprehensive neuropsychological testing is not practical, such as rural clinical settings or large retrospective and multi-lingual research settings. However, the MoCA domain-specific subsections have never been formally assessed for sensitivity or specificity. Therefore, in Parkinson's disease, we examined whether the subsections of the MoCA could identify cognitive impairment within specific cognitive domains.We administered a comprehensive neuropsychological battery to 85 Parkinson's disease participants, who were then categorized as with or without cognitive impairment, with respect to global cognition and in five cognitive domains. We then assessed the domain-specific categorization of the MoCA subsections compared to the full neuropsychology battery.All MoCA subsections predicted impairment in their respective cognitive domain. However, the executive subsection showed the highest sensitivity and specificity (89.3% and 82.5%, respectively), followed by visuospatial (93.3% and 45.7%, respectively) and memory (84.6% and 56.5%, respectively).The MoCA is a useful screening tool for PD global cognitive and executive functions. The MoCA is also highly sensitive to visuospatial and memory impairment, but with limited specificity and accuracy these subsections should be interpreted with caution.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2017.02.008
View details for PubMedID 28215728
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5400012