Cognitive Screening Instruments

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The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) is a cognitive screening instrument developed to detect mild cognitive impairment (MCI). It is a simple 10 minute paper and pencil test that assesses multiple cognitive domains including memory, language, executive functions, visuospatial skills, calculation, abstraction, attention, concentration, and orientation. Its validity has been established to detect mild cognitive impairment in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other patholo- gies in cognitively impaired subjects who scored in the normal range on the MMSE. MoCA’s sensitivity and speci fi city to detect subjects with MCI due to Alzheimer’s disease and distinguish them from healthy controls are excellent. MoCA is also sensitive to detect cognitive impairment in cerebrovascular disease and Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, brain tumors, systemic lupus erythematosus, sub- stance use disorders, idiopathic rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder, obstructive sleep apnoea, risk of falling, rehabilitation outcome, and epilepsy. There are several features in MoCA’s design that likely explain its superior sensitivity for detecting MCI. The MoCA’s memory testing involves more words, fewer learning trials, and a longer delay before recall than the MMSE. Executive functions, higher- level language abilities, and complex visuospatial processing can also be mildly impaired in MCI participants of various etiologies and are assessed by the MoCA




Cognitive Screening Instruments. (2013). Cognitive Screening Instruments. Springer London.

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