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Keywords:

  • MoCA;
  • mild cognitive impairment;
  • Alzheimer's disease;
  • neuropsychology;
  • cognitive assessment;
  • neuropsychological tests

Background

The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) is a brief cognitive schedule that has been developed for the screening of patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). MCI is recognized as a high-risk state for Alzheimer's disease. The aim of the present study is to examine the reliability and validity of the Brazilian version of the MoCA test (MoCA-BR) in a sample of older individuals with at least 4 years of education.

Methods

The MoCA-BR was administered to 112 older adults who were classified into three diagnostic groups according to their cognitive state (Alzheimer's disease, n = 28; MCI, n = 43; normal controls, n = 41). This procedure was based on clinical and neuropsychological data. The performance in the MoCA-BR was compared with the Mini-mental state examination (MMSE) and the Cambridge Cognitive Examination. Diagnostic accuracy was examined with the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analyses.

Results

Cronbach's alpha for the MoCA-BR was 0.75. Temporal stability (retesting after 3 months) using intraclass correlation coefficient was 0.75 (p < 0.001). The sensitivity and specificity of the MoCA-BR for MCI were 81% and 77%, respectively, with a cut-off score of 25 points. The area under the ROC curve for predicting MCI was 0.82 ± 0.06.

Conclusions

The present results indicate that the MoCA-BR maintains its core diagnostic properties rendering it a valid and reliable tool for the screening of MCI among older individuals with at least 4 years of education. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.