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Edinburgh Cognitive And Behavioural ALS Screen (ECAS)-Italian Version: Regression Based Norms And Equivalent Scores

M. Siciliano, L. Trojano, F. Trojsi, Roberta Greco, Manuela Santoro, G. Basile, Fausta Piscopo, A. D’Iorio, Manila Patrone, C. Femiano, Mariarosaria Monsurrò, G. Tedeschi, G. Santangelo
Published 2017 · Psychology, Medicine

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Cognitive assessment for individuals with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) can be difficult because of frequent occurrence of difficulties with speech, writing, and drawing. The Edinburgh Cognitive and Behavioural ALS Screen (ECAS) is a recent multi-domain neuropsychological screening tool specifically devised for this purpose, and it assesses the following domains: executive functions, social cognition, verbal fluency and language (ALS-specific), but also memory and visuospatial abilities (Non-ALS specific). ECAS total score ranges from 0 (worst performance) to 136 (best performance). Moreover, a brief caregiver interview provides an assessment of behaviour changes and psychotic symptoms usually associated with ALS patients. The aim of the present study was to provide normative values for ECAS total score and sub-scores in a sample of Italian healthy subjects. Two hundred and seventy-seven Italian healthy subjects (151 women and 126 men; age range 30–79 years; educational level from primary school to university) underwent ECAS and Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that age and education significantly influenced performance on ECAS total score and sub-scale scores. From the derived linear equation, a correction grid for raw scores was built. Inferential cut-off scores were estimated using a non-parametric technique and equivalent scores (ES) were computed. Correlation analysis showed a good significant correlation between adjusted ECAS total scores with adjusted MoCA total scores (rrho = 0.669, p < 0.0001). The present study provided normative data for the ECAS in an Italian population useful for both clinical and research purposes.
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