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The MoCA Proves Useful Screening Tool for PD

Parkinsonism Relat Dis; ePub 2017 Feb 6; Hendershott, et al

The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) is a useful screening tool for Parkinson disease (PD) global cognitive and executive functions, a recent study found. Researchers administered a comprehensive neuropsychological battery to 85 Parkinson disease participants, who were then categorized as with or without cognitive impairment, with respect to global cognition and in 5 cognitive domains. They then assessed the domain-specific categorization of the MoCA subsections compared to the full neuropsychology battery. They found:

  • 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).
  • While the MoCA is highly sensitive to visuospatial and memory impairment, there was limited specificity and accuracy in these subsections and should be interpreted with caution.


Hendershott TR, Zhu D, Llanes S, Poston KL. Domain-specific accuracy of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment subsections in Parkinson's disease. [Published online ahead of print February 6, 2017]. Parkinsonism Relat Dis. doi:10.1016/j.parkreldis.2017.02.008.