Obesity Surgery

, Volume 28, Issue 9, pp 2700–2704 | Cite as

Performance on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) in Older Adults Presenting for Bariatric Surgery

  • Samantha H. MohunEmail author
  • Mary B. Spitznagel
  • John Gunstad
  • Amber Rochette
  • Leslie J. Heinberg
Original Contributions



Bariatric surgery candidates exhibit cognitive impairment on neuropsychological testing and these deficits are associated with reduced post-operative weight loss. However, less is known about the prevalence of cognitive function in older adults that pursue surgery, despite being at higher risk for cognitive dysfunction.


To examine the prevalence and profile of cognitive impairment using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) in elderly bariatric patients. We hypothesized that increased body mass index (BMI) and higher number of medications would be linked to lower MoCA score, and that men would evidence poorer MoCA scores than women given past work showing that men presenting for bariatric surgery have more medical comorbidities.


Data was retrospectively extracted from electronic medical records. Patients 65 and older who completed pre-surgical MoCA assessment and bariatric surgery were included in the study (n = 55).


Twenty-two percent of patients scored below cutoff for impairment on the MoCA. MoCA total score was negatively correlated with BMI and number of medications pre-surgery. There was a significant effect for gender, with men outperforming women.


The current findings suggest that cognitive impairment is common in older adults presenting for bariatric surgery. Future studies are needed to determine the most appropriate methods for detecting cognitive dysfunction in this high-risk population.


Bariatric surgery Cognition Adherence MoCA Elderly 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

The Institutional Review Board approved the preceding as an exempt study as it involved retrospective chart review.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samantha H. Mohun
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mary B. Spitznagel
    • 2
  • John Gunstad
    • 2
  • Amber Rochette
    • 2
  • Leslie J. Heinberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Bariatric and Metabolic InstituteCleveland ClinicClevelandUSA
  2. 2.Kent State UniversityKentUSA

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