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January 5, 2023

Prof Piers Dawes from the University of Queensland’s Centre for Hearing Research and his SENSEcog project colleagues across Europe and Canada have published a version of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) adapted and validated for people with hearing impairment.

The MoCA is the most widely used screening test for cognitive impairment and dementia. Former President Trump boasted about his exceptional performance on the MoCA, which was given to identify cognitive impairments in the executive leader of the United States.

But as the MoCA is a spoken test, it relies on people having good hearing function. Someone may fail the MoCA due to hearing loss rather than a cognitive problem. Because around 50% of people aged over 75 have hearing loss, there is an urgent need for reliable cognitive screening assessments for people with hearing loss.

Working with the MoCA developers in Montreal, Professor Dawes and his SENSEcog project colleagues developed an alternative form of the MoCA for people with hearing loss. To develop the new MoCA for people with hearing loss, performance data were collected from people in Australia, England, Ireland, Canada, France, Greece and Cyprus. The new MoCA-H is a sensitive and reliable means of identifying dementia and cognitive difficulties among people with hearing loss.

Professor Dawes's MoCA-H was published this week in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The MoCA-H is freely available to clinicians and researchers around the word via the MoCA website ( Translations of the MoCA-H are available in French, German, Greek and Portuguese, with other languages in development.

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