Usefulness of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) in Huntington's disease


  • Funding agencies: This study was supported by the UCSD Huntington's Disease Society of America Center of Excellence and the UCSD Shiley Marcos Alzheimer's Disease Research Center NIH (P50 AG 005131).

  • Relevant conflicts of interest/financial disclosures: Nothing to report.

  • Full financial disclosures and author roles may be found in the online version of this article.



The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) is a brief screening instrument for dementia that is sensitive to executive dysfunction. This study examined its usefulness for assessing cognitive performance in mild, moderate, and severe Huntington's disease (HD), compared with the use of the Mini–Mental State Examination (MMSE).


We compared MoCA and MMSE total scores and the number of correct answers in 5 cognitive-specific domains in 104 manifest HD patients and 100 matched controls.


For the total HD sample, and for the moderate and severe patients, significant differences between both MoCA and MMSE total scores and almost all cognitive-specific domains emerged. Even mild HD subjects showed significant differences with regard to total score and several cognitive domains on both instruments.


We conclude that the MoCA, although not necessarily superior to the MMSE, is a useful instrument for assessing cognitive performance over a broad level of functioning in HD. © 2013 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society