Background: Although the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) is acknowledged as a promising neuropsychological tool, its normative data for older populations have not been established yet. The purpose of this study was to provide normative data for the MoCA in Japanese community-dwelling older people. Methods: In a Japanese town, 1,977 participants aged 65 years or older (mean age 73.6 years; male 41.3%) completed MoCA tests. After descriptive and regression analyses, normative data were developed for MoCA scores in the population. Results: The mean MoCA score observed (21.8 points) was lower than that for normal controls (27.4 points) in the original validation study of the MoCA. Additionally, 82.6% of MoCA scores fell below the standard cutoff of 26 points for detecting mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The regression analysis showed that higher age and fewer years of formal education were associated with lower MoCA scores (p < 0.001). Normative data for MoCA scores were presented with respect to age and education. Conclusion: This study provided normative data for the MoCA in a Japanese community-dwelling older population. This research also suggests that conventional use of the MoCA as a screening tool for MCI might be problematic in cultures different from that in which the cutoff was developed.
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