Is the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) screening superior to the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) in the detection of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's Disease (AD) in the elderly?

Tiago C C Pinto, Leonardo Machado, Tatiana M Bulgacov, Antônio L Rodrigues-Júnior, Maria L G Costa, Rosana C C Ximenes, Everton B Sougey
International Psychogeriatrics 2019, 31 (4): 491-504

ABSTRACTObjective:To compare the accuracy of Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) in tracking mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's Disease (AD).

METHOD: A Systematic review of the PubMed, Bireme, Science Direct, Cochrane Library, and PsycInfo databases was conducted. Using inclusion and exclusion criteria and staring with 1,629 articles, 34 articles were selected. The quality of the selected research was evaluated through the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies 2 tool (QUADAS-2).

RESULT: More than 80% of the articles showed MoCA to be superior to MMSE in discriminating between individuals with mild cognitive impairment and no cognitive impairment. The area under the curve varied from 0.71 to 0.99 for MoCA, and 0.43 to 0.94 for MMSE, when evaluating the ability to discriminate MCI in the cognitively healthy elderly individuals, and 0.87 to 0.99 and 0.67 to 0.99, respectively, when evaluating the detection of AD. The AUC mean value for MoCA was significantly larger compared to the MMSE in discriminating MCI from control [0.883 (CI 95% 0.855-0.912) vs MMSE 0.780 (CI 95% 0.740-0.820) p < 0.001].

CONCLUSION: The screening tool MoCA is superior to MMSE in the identification of MCI, and both tests were found to be accurate in the detection of AD.

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