Montreal Cognitive Assessment in a Greek sample of patients with multiple sclerosis: A validation study
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The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) is a brief cognitive instrument for the measurement of dementia. The aim of the present study was to measure the sensitivity of this test in a group of Greek speaking participants diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. 40 MS participants complaining for cognitive dysfunction were matched in age and education to 490 healthy participants. The MoCA test and a neuropsychological test battery were administered to both groups. The MoCA test was found to differentiate the MS from the controls (U = 3761.00, p <.001) and it was correlated with all neuropsychological tests (digit span: r = 0.454, p <.0001; phonemic verbal fluency: r = 0.390, p <.0001; semantic verbal fluency: r = 0.319, p <.0001; Color Trails Test 1 (CTT1): r = −.256, p <.0001; Color Trails Test 2 (CTT2): r = −.321, p <.0001). Multiple regression analysis showed that 10.3% of the variation in the MoCA score was accounted for by the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) total score. Also, the test showed high discriminant validity (optimal screening cut off point 25, sensitivity 0.68, specificity 0.89). MoCA is a sensitive test to differentiate cognitive impairment in Greek speaking MS participants from healthy controls. Further research is needed to use it in larger clinical samples and in different subtypes of the disease.