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Keywords:

  • Huntington's disease;
  • Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA);
  • Mini–Mental State Examination (MMSE);
  • cognitive decline

ABSTRACT

Background

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).

Methods

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.

Results

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.

Conclusions

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