Weeks after [President] Trump posted his perfect [Montreal Cognitive Assessment] score (30/30), the researchers started working on a new tool, dubbed the “mini-MoCA,” an online, self-administered exam for people worried about possible cognitive decline.
Such a test could potentially expand detection of mild cognitive impairment, or MCI, the earliest stage of dementia. Up to 1 in 5 people age 65 and older have MCI, and more than half progress to dementia within five years. Learning about problems early allows affected people to arrange their finances, seek out clinical trials and otherwise make plans for future care.
[Dr. Ziad] Nasreddine said his team is working now to validate the mini-MoCA, which will be a scaled-down version of the original tool. The MoCA was developed more than 20 years ago to help detect MCI. It has been translated into several versions and multiple languages and is used in all of the National Institute on Aging’s Alzheimer’s Disease Centers.
The original MoCA is a 10-minute, 30-question exam. Instead, the mini-MoCA will be a five-minute, six-question test, Nasreddine indicated. Like the original test, it will include exercises focused on naming objects and animals, verbal fluency, calculation, clock time, abstraction and memory.
And, like the original, if people score fewer than 26 of 30 possible points, they’d be urged to consult a doctor for further screening.
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