The Edinburgh Cognitive and Behavioral ALS Screen (ECAS) in frontotemporal dementia

Saxon, Jennifer A, Thompson, Jennifer C, Harris, Jennifer M, Ealing, John, Hamdalla, Hisham, Chaouch, Amina, Young, Carolyn ORCID: 0000-0001-6971-8203, Blackburn, Daniel, Majeed, Tahir, Gall, Claire
et al (show 4 more authors) (2020) The Edinburgh Cognitive and Behavioral ALS Screen (ECAS) in frontotemporal dementia. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration, 21 (7-8). pp. 606-613.

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<h4>Objectives</h4>To examine the usefulness of the Edinburgh Cognitive and Behavioral Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Screen (ECAS) as a cognitive screening tool for the detection of behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD). A secondary aim was to determine whether people with FTD combined with ALS (ALS-FTD) exhibit a similar ECAS profile to that of people with bvFTD alone. <i>Methods:</i> Patients with ALS-FTD and bvFTD and healthy controls were recruited. Participants were administered the ECAS, which comprises tests of language, verbal fluency, executive functions, memory, and visual-spatial functions. They also carried out analogous, full-length cognitive tests that examine naming, spelling, sentence completion, and social cognition skills. <i>Results:</i> The study cohort comprised 20 ALS-FTD patients, 23 with bvFTD, and 30 controls. Highly significant group differences were elicited for all cognitive domains, reflecting poorer performance in patients compared to controls. No significant differences in overall test scores were found between ALS-FTD and bvFTD patients, although ALS-FTD patients showed a higher frequency of impairment on verbal fluency. Correlative analyses revealed inter-relationships in patients (but not controls) between scores in different domains, most marked in bvFTD. There were strong correlations between performance on ECAS subtests and analogous cognitive tasks. <i>Conclusion:</i> The ECAS is a sensitive and valuable tool for the assessment of FTD. Executive, language and behavioral breakdown may, however, compromise performance in other cognitive domains, reducing the specificity of the 'frontotemporal' cognitive profile. Subtle differences observed between ALS-FTD and bvFTD raise questions regarding the precise relationship between bvFTD with and without ALS.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Motor neurone disease, frontotemporal dementia, cognition
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2020 08:10
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 23:31
DOI: 10.1080/21678421.2020.1797090
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