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      A comparison of the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) with the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) for mild cognitive impairment screening in Chinese middle-aged and older population: a cross-sectional study


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          The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) are the most commonly used scales to detect mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in population-based epidemiologic studies. However, their comparison on which is best suited to assess cognition is scarce in samples from multiple regions of China.


          We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of 4923 adults aged ≥55 years from the Community-based Cohort Study on Nervous System Diseases. Objective cognition was assessed by Chinese versions of MMSE and MoCA, and total score and subscores of cognitive domains were calculated for each. Education-specific cutoffs of total score were used to diagnose MCI. Demographic and health-related characteristics were collected by questionnaires. Correlation and agreement for MCI between MMSE and MoCA were analyzed; group differences in cognition were evaluated; and multiple logistic regression model was used to clarify risk factors for MCI.


          The overall MCI prevalence was 28.6% for MMSE and 36.2% for MoCA. MMSE had good correlation with MoCA (Spearman correlation coefficient = 0.8374, p < 0.0001) and moderate agreement for detecting MCI with Kappa value of 0.5973 ( p < 0.0001). Ceiling effect for MCI was less frequent using MoCA versus MMSE according to the distribution of total score. Percentage of relative standard deviation, the measure of inter-individual variance, for MoCA (26.9%) was greater than for MMSE (19.0%) overall ( p < 0.0001). Increasing age (MMSE: OR = 2.073 for ≥75 years; MoCA: OR = 1.869 for≥75 years), female (OR = 1.280 for MMSE; OR = 1.163 for MoCA), living in county town (OR = 1.386 and 1.862 for MMSE and MoCA, respectively) or village (OR = 2.579 and 2.721 for MMSE and MoCA, respectively), smoking (OR = 1.373 and 1.288 for MMSE and MoCA, respectively), hypertension (MMSE: OR = 1.278; MoCA: OR = 1.208) and depression (MMSE: OR = 1.465; MoCA: OR = 1.350) were independently associated with greater likelihood of MCI compared to corresponding reference group in both scales (all p < 0.05).


          MoCA is a better measure of cognitive function due to lack of ceiling effect and with good detection of cognitive heterogeneity. MCI prevalence is higher using MoCA compared to MMSE. Both tools identify concordantly modifiable factors for MCI, which provide important evidence for establishing intervention measures.

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          Most cited references51

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          The Montreal Cognitive Assessment, MoCA: a brief screening tool for mild cognitive impairment.

          To develop a 10-minute cognitive screening tool (Montreal Cognitive Assessment, MoCA) to assist first-line physicians in detection of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a clinical state that often progresses to dementia. Validation study. A community clinic and an academic center. Ninety-four patients meeting MCI clinical criteria supported by psychometric measures, 93 patients with mild Alzheimer's disease (AD) (Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score > or =17), and 90 healthy elderly controls (NC). The MoCA and MMSE were administered to all participants, and sensitivity and specificity of both measures were assessed for detection of MCI and mild AD. Using a cutoff score 26, the MMSE had a sensitivity of 18% to detect MCI, whereas the MoCA detected 90% of MCI subjects. In the mild AD group, the MMSE had a sensitivity of 78%, whereas the MoCA detected 100%. Specificity was excellent for both MMSE and MoCA (100% and 87%, respectively). MCI as an entity is evolving and somewhat controversial. The MoCA is a brief cognitive screening tool with high sensitivity and specificity for detecting MCI as currently conceptualized in patients performing in the normal range on the MMSE.
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            “Mini-mental state”

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              National Sleep Foundation’s sleep time duration recommendations: methodology and results summary

              The objective was to conduct a scientifically rigorous update to the National Sleep Foundation's sleep duration recommendations.

                Author and article information

                BMC Psychiatry
                BMC Psychiatry
                BMC Psychiatry
                BioMed Central (London )
                4 October 2021
                4 October 2021
                : 21
                : 485
                [1 ]GRID grid.198530.6, ISNI 0000 0000 8803 2373, National Institute for Nutrition and Health, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, ; Beijing, 100050 China
                [2 ]GRID grid.256883.2, ISNI 0000 0004 1760 8442, School of Public Health, , Hebei Medical University, ; Shijiazhuang, 050017 China
                [3 ]Yongkang Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Yongkang, 321300 China
                [4 ]Yuelu District Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Changsha, 410013 China
                [5 ]Changde Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Changde, 415000 China
                [6 ]Shaanxi Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Xian, 710054 China
                © The Author(s) 2021

                Open AccessThis article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

                : 22 January 2021
                : 15 September 2021
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                © The Author(s) 2021

                Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry
                mild cognitive impairment,mmse,moca,correlation,agreement,risk factors


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