Background: The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) test has high sensitivity and
specificity for detecting mild cognitive impairment or early dementia. How the MoCA score relates to
findings of positron emission tomography imaging, however, remains unclear.
Objective: This prospective study examined the relationship between the Japanese version of the MoCA
(MoCA-J) test and brain amyloid deposition or cerebral glucose metabolism among subjects with mild
Methods: A total of 125 subjects with mild cognitive impairment underwent the MoCA-J test, and amyloid-
and 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose- positron emission tomography. Linear correlation analysis and multiple
linear regression analysis were conducted to investigate the relationship between the MoCA-J score
and demographic characteristics, amyloid deposition, and cerebral glucose metabolism. Moreover, Statistical
Parametric Mapping 8 was used for a voxel-wise regression analysis of the MoCA-J score and
cerebral glucose metabolism.
Results: The MoCA-J score significantly correlated with age, years of education, and the Mini-Mental
State Examination score. After adjusting for age, sex, and education, the MoCA-J score significantly
correlated negatively with amyloid retention (β= -0.174, p= 0.031) and positively with cerebral glucose
metabolism (β= 0.183, p= 0.044). Statistical Parametric Mapping showed that Japanese version of
MoCA score correlated with glucose metabolism in the bilateral frontal and parietal lobes, and the left
Conclusion: The total MoCA-J score correlated with amyloid deposition and frontal and parietal glucose
metabolism in subjects with mild cognitive impairment. Our findings support the usefulness of the
MoCA-J test for screening subjects at high risk for Alzheimer’s disease.