Publication date: Dec 01, 2020
This study aims to systematically review the evidence on the accuracy of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) test for evaluating the presence of cognitive impairment in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and to outline the quality and quantity of research evidence available about the use of MoCA in this population. We conducted a systematic literature review, searching five databases from inception until May 2020. We identified fourteen studies that met the inclusion criteria: three cross-sectional studies and two case – control studies comparing MoCA to a battery of tests, one study comparing MoCA to Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), and eight studies estimating the prevalence of cognitive impairment in individuals with MS. Publication period ranged from 2012 to 2020. Although the MoCA test demonstrated good sensitivity and specificity when used at the recommended threshold of 26, a lower threshold than the original cut-off was also reported to be useful for optimal screening, as it lowers false positive rates and improves diagnostic accuracy. Furthermore, in MS patients without subjective cognitive complaints, a cutoff of 27 could provide a better balance between the sensitivity and the specificity of the test. In patients with MS, the MoCA provides information on general cognitive functions disturbances. Nonetheless, more studies are required to examine the optimum cut-off score for detecting cognitive impairments in MS patients.