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Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA): Validation Study for Vascular Dementia

  • Sandra Freitas (a1) (a2), Mário R. Simões (a1) (a2), Lara Alves (a1), Margarida Vicente (a1) and Isabel Santana (a3)...

The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) is a brief instrument developed for the screening of milder forms of cognitive impairment, having surpassed the well-known limitations of the MMSE. The aim of the present study was to validate the MoCA as well as its short version, which was proposed by the NINDS-CSN VCI Harmonization Standards for screening Vascular Dementia (VaD) patients. The results, based on a homogeneous sample of 34 VaD patients, indicate that the MoCA is a psychometrically valid and reliable instrument for cognitive screening in VaD patients, showing excellent discriminant validity. Both the full and short versions of the MoCA had excellent diagnostic accuracy in discriminating VaD patients, exhibiting an area under curve (AUC) higher than the MMSE [AUC(MoCA full version) = .950; 95% IC = .868–.988; AUC(MoCA short version) = .936; 95% IC = .849–.981; AUC(MMSE) = .860; 95% IC = .754–.932]. With a cutoff below 17 on the MoCA full version and 8 on the short version, the results for sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, and classification accuracy were superior compared to the MMSE. In conclusion, both versions of the MoCA are valid, reliable, sensitive and accurate screening instruments for VaD patients. (JINS, 2012, 18, 1–10)

Corresponding author
Correspondence and reprint requests to: Sandra Freitas, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Coimbra, Rua do Colégio Novo, Apartado 6153, 3001-802 Coimbra, Portugal. E-mail:
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