Montreal Cognitive Test (MoCA) for Dementia


The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) is a 30-question short test that takes 10-12 minutes to screen people for dementia. It was published in 2005 by a group at McGill University who worked for several years in memory clinics in Montreal .

Here's a look at what the MoCA includes, how it is assessed and interpreted, and how it can help identify dementia .

Get Medication Information / Brianna Gilmartin


The MoCA assesses different types of cognitive abilities. These include :

  • Orientation :   The test administrator asks you for a date, month, year, day, place, and city.
  • Call delay / short term memory : Five words are read, the examinee is asked to repeat them, read again, and asked to repeat them again. After completing other tasks, the person is asked to repeat each of the five words again and is given a hint as to which category the word belongs to if he cannot remember them without a hint.
  • Executive Function / Visual-Spatial Ability : These two skills are assessed using the Trails B test, which requires you to draw a line for the correct sequence of numbers and alternate numbers (1-A, 2-B, etc.) and using a task which requires you to draw a copy of the cube shape.
  • Language Skill: This activity consists of repeating two sentences correctly and then listing all the words that can be remembered that begin with the letter "F".
  • Abstraction – You are asked to explain how two objects are alike, such as a train and a bicycle. It measures your abstract thinking, which is often affected by dementia. The proverb interpretation test is another way to test abstract thinking skills.
  • Animal names : three animal pictures are shown and the person is asked to name each one. This is primarily used to test your fluency.
  • Attention: The examinee is asked to repeat one series of numbers forward and then another series backward to assess attention.
  • Clock Drawing Test : Unlike the Mini Mental Health Exam (MMSE), which does not include a clock drawing test, the MoCA asks the person being graded to draw a clock showing ten past ten.

It is important for accuracy that this test is performed in the native language of the patient.


Scores on the MoCA scale range from zero to 30, with 26 and more generally considered normal.

In the initial study data that established the MoCA, the normal control had a mean score of 27.4, compared with 22.1 in people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 16.2 in people with Alzheimer's.

The distribution of grades is as follows:

  • Visual-spatial and executive functioning: 5 points
  • Animal names: 3 points
  • Attention: 6 points
  • Language: 3 points
  • Abstraction: 2 points
  • Delayed recall (short-term memory): 5 points
  • Orientation: 6 points
  • Educational level: 1 point is added to the test taker's result if he or she has 12 years or less of formal education.


The MoCA is a relatively simple and concise test that helps healthcare providers quickly determine whether a person has abnormal cognitive functions and may require a more comprehensive diagnostic evaluation for Alzheimer's disease .

It can help predict dementia in people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and because it tests executive function, it is more sensitive than MMSE in this regard. Finally , it has been shown to better detect cognitive problems in people with Parkinson's disease. disease .

Advantages versus disadvantages

Advantages of MoCA include its brevity, simplicity, and reliability as a screening test for Alzheimer's disease. In addition, it measures an important component of dementia that the MMSE does not measure, namely executive function. It seems to work well for Parkinson's dementia and, unlike MMSE, it is free for non-commercial use.

It should be noted that MoCA is available in more than 35 languages, and there is also the MoCA Test Blind, which allows cognitive tests for people with visual impairments .

The downside to MoCA is that it takes slightly longer to complete than MMSE and, like many other screening tests, it must be combined with a variety of other screening tests and tests to accurately detect and diagnose dementia.

Get the word of drug information

Knowing what MoCA includes and how it is evaluated can help you better understand its results for you or your loved one. Remember also that MoCA, while helpful in identifying cognitive problems, must be combined with several other evaluations performed by a physician to fully assess mental functioning and identify possible causes of memory loss.

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