Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) population-based study of Russian elderly


Oksana Makeeva, Valentina Markova, Irina Zhukova, Zarui Melikyan, Larisa Minaycheva, Stepan Buikin, Elena Osinova, Marina Abushaeva, Olga Botkina, Nelly Musina, Elena Starinskaya, Natalia Zhukova, Yuka Maruyama, Michelle McCart, Heather MacDonald, Lawrence Whitley, Heather Romero, Kathleen Hayden, Brenda Plassman, Kathleen Welsh-Bohmer: Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) population-based study of Russian elderly // Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association. Volume 8, Issue 4, Supplement, Page S773, July 2012


The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) is a widely used cognitive screening tool for Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and early Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, there are no published population-based studies to guide its use with Russian populations. The aim of the current study was to investigate the impact of demographic variables on MoCA total score, and to describe its use as a screening tool for AD prevention studies in an urban population of older adults from Tomsk, Russia.


Volunteers (N=1377) aged 60-89 years were identified using a centralized medical care system database. Subjects were asked by phone to participate in a pre-screening study for a future primary prevention clinical trial. Participants were administered the Russian translation of the MoCA, and specifically asked if they would consider participating in a pharmacological trial for the prevention of AD.


No significant differences in MoCA total score were found between men (N=350) and women (N=1027). Lower education was associated with poorer performance on MoCA total scores. Those with less than high school education had the lowest total MoCA scores (17.8±0.3), followed by high school graduates (21.7±0.3), those with some college (21.5±0.2), college graduates (22.9±0.1), and those with a graduate degree (23.7±0.4), p<0.0001. Older age was associated with poorer performance on MoCA total scores. Individuals aged 83-89 years (n=38) had the lowest MoCA total scores (19.2±0.6), followed by ages 79-82, 19.7±0.4 (n=90), ages 73-78, 20.8±0.2 (n=383), and ages 67-72, 22.01±0.2 (n=501); ages 60-66 performed best, 23.3±0.2 (n=365), p<0.0001. Most participants (93%) expressed interest in participating in a pharmacological, primary prevention clinical trial. There were no differences in interest based on gender or total MoCA score. However, individuals in the oldest age band were less likely to express interest (95% of 60-66 year-olds and 82% of 83-89 year-olds, p<0.0001).


The MoCA was a useful screening tool in a Russian elderly population, though education and age should be considered when using the MoCA to screen for clinical trials. The methods used in this study can be effective to recruit older Russian adults for pharmacological prevention trials.

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