Vol 46, No 2 (2012)

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Clinical application of the Polish adaptation of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) test in screening for cognitive impairment

Joanna Magierska1, Radosław Magierski1, Wojciech Fendler2, Iwona Kłoszewska1, Tomasz M. Sobów3
DOI: 10.5114/ninp.2012.28255
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2012;46(2):130-139.


Background and purpose

The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) test is a brief cognitive screening tool with high sensitivity and specificity for detecting mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The aim of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of MoCA and compare it with the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) in the early detection of cognitive decline in MCI.

Material and methods

A group of 115 subjects (36 meeting DSM-IV criteria for Alzheimer disease (AD) [Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) = 1], 42 meeting Petersen's criteria for MCI [CDR = 0.5], and 37 cognitively intact controls [CDR = 0]) was recruited for the study in the university-based Alzheimer out-patient clinic. All participants underwent general medical, neurological, and psychiatric examinations. The MoCA, the MMSE, CDR and the short (15-item) version of the Geriatric Depression Scale were also applied.


Both MCI and AD groups exhibited impaired performance on MoCA compared to controls. Polish versions of the MMSE and MoCA tests were comparable in discriminating mild dementia from both MCI and control groups. The Polish version of the MoCA test performed marginally better than MMSE in discriminating MCI from controls. We propose to use the MoCA test to screen for MCI using an optimal cut-off score of 24 and to screen for dementia using a cut-off score of 19.


The Polish version of the MoCA seems effective in the detection of deteriorated cognitive performance and appropriate for differentiating impaired from preserved cognitive function in a Polish population.

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Neurologia i Neurochirurgia Polska