The Montreal Cognitive Assessment: Is It Suitable for Identifying Mild Cognitive Impairment in Parkinson's Disease?

Sara Rosenblum, Sonya Meyer, Netta Gemerman, Lilya Mentzer, Ariella Richardson, Simon Israeli-Korn, Vered Livneh, Tsvia Fay Karmon, Tal Nevo, Gilad Yahalom, Sharon Hassin-Baer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Administering an abbreviated global cognitive test, such as the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), is necessary for the recommended first-level diagnostic criteria for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in Parkinson's disease (PD). Level II requires administering cognitive functioning neuropsychological tests. The MoCA's suitability for identifying PD-MCI is questionable and, despite the importance of cognitive deficits reflected through daily functioning in identifying PD-MCI, knowledge about it is scarce. Objectives: To explore neuropsychological test scores of patients with PD who were categorized based on their MoCA scores and to analyze correlations between this categorization and patients’ self-reports about daily functional-related cognitive abilities. Methods: A total of 78 patients aged 42 to 78 years participated: 46 with low MoCA scores (22–25) and 32 with high MoCA scores (26–30). Medical assessments and level II neuropsychological assessment tools were administered along with standardized self-report questionnaires about daily functioning that reflects patients’ cognitive abilities. Results: A high percentage of the low MoCA group obtained neuropsychological test scores within the normal range; a notable number in the high MoCA group were identified with MCI-level scores on various neuropsychological tests. Suspected PD-MCI according to the level I criteria did not correspond well with the level II criteria. Positive correlations were found among the 3 self-report questionnaires. Conclusions: These results support the ongoing discussion of the complexity of capturing PD-MCI. Considering the neuropsychological tests results, assessments that reflect cognitive encounters in real life daily confrontations are warranted among people diagnosed with PD who are at risk for cognitive decline.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)648-655
Number of pages8
JournalMovement Disorders Clinical Practice
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Parkinson's disease
  • assessment
  • daily functioning
  • mild cognitive impairment
  • self-report


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