Determining an appropriate cutting score for indication of impairment on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment.
OBJECTIVE To prospectively validate the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) in a UK memory clinic. METHOD We administered the MoCA and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) to 32 subjects fulfilling diagnostic criteria for dementia, to 23 subjects fulfilling diagnostic criteria for mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and to 12 memory clinic comparison subjects, at baseline and then at 6-month follow-up. Clinical diagnoses for dementia and MCI were made according to ICD-10 and Petersen criteria. The sensitivity and specificity of both measures were assessed for detection of MCI and dementia. RESULTS With a cut-off score of 26, the MMSE had a sensitivity of 17% to detect subjects with MCI, whereas the MoCA detected 83%. The MMSE had a sensitivity of 25% to detect subjects with dementia, whereas the MoCA detected 94%. Specificity for the MMSE was 100%, and specificity for the MoCA was 50%. Of subjects with MCI, 35% developed dementia within 6 months, and all scored less than 26 points on the MoCA at baseline. CONCLUSIONS The MoCA is a useful brief screening tool for the detection of mild dementia or MCI in subjects scoring over 25 points on the MMSE. In patients already diagnosed with MCI, the MoCA helps identify those at risk of developing dementia at 6-month follow-up.