Abstract Introduction Among the non-motor features of Parkinson’s disease (PD), cognitive impairment is one of the most troublesome problems. Highly sensitive and specific screening instruments for detecting dementia in PD (PDD) are required in the clinical practice. Methods In our study we evaluated the sensitivity and specificity of different neuropsychological tests (Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination, ACE; Frontal Assessment Battery, FAB and Mattis Dementia Rating Scale, MDRS) in 73 Parkinson’s disease patients without depression. By receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, these screening instruments were tested against the recently established clinical diagnostic criteria of PDD. Results Best cut-off score for ACE to identify PDD was 80 points (sensitivity = 74.0%, specificity = 78.1%). For FAB the most optimal cut-off value was 12 points (sensitivity = 66.3%, specificity = 72.2%); whereas for MDRS it was 125 points (sensitivity = 89.8%, specificity = 98.3%). Among the examined test batteries, MDRS had the best clinicometric profile for detecting PDD. Conclusion Although the types of applied screening instruments might differ from movement disorder clinic to clinic within a country, determination of the most specific and sensitive test for the given population remains to be an important task. Our results demonstrated that the specificity and sensitivity of MDRS was better than those of ACE, FAB and MMSE in Hungary. However, further studies with larger sample size and more uniform criteria for participation are required to determine the most suitable screening instrument for cognitive impairment.