The MoCA-Memory Index Score: An Efficient Alternative to Paragraph Recall for the Detection of Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment

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Objective:To compare ability of 2 measures of delayed memory (word list, story paragraph) to discriminate Normal Control (NC) subjects from those with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI).Methods:Demographic, neuropsychological, and diagnostic data contributed by 34 Alzheimer’s Disease Centers to the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center characterized 2717 individuals with a diagnosis of either NC (n=2205) or aMCI (n=512). The Montreal Cognitive Assessment-Memory Index Score (MoCA-MIS) assessed delayed word recall, and the Craft Story 21, delayed story recall. Logistic regression and receiver operator characteristic curves controlling for age, sex, and education assessed the ability of each test to differentiate NCs from subjects with aMCI.Results:The MoCA-MIS had significantly better sensitivity and specificity (area under the receiver operator characteristic curve 0.83 vs. 0.80, P=0.004). At sensitivity 80%, the specificity of the MoCA-MIS was 69.1%, compared with 62.8% for the Craft Story.Conclusions:These data suggest that the MoCA-MIS, a recall score from items within the MoCA, is better at discriminating NCs from subjects with aMCI than the Craft Story. Word recall may be an efficient alternative to paragraph recall for diagnostic screening within clinical practice and research settings.

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