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J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2010 Dec;32(10):1095-109. doi: 10.1080/13803391003749236. Epub 2010 Jun 24.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients show executive impairments on standard neuropsychological measures and an ecologically valid motor-free test of executive functions.

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Institute of Clinical Neurophysiology, Division of Neurology, University Medical Centre Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia.


The study aimed to evaluate the nature and extent of executive deficits in nondemented amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. A total of 22 ALS patients and 21 matched controls were compared on standard neuropsychological tests of executive functions with appropriate control for motor impairment and on an ecologically valid motor-free test of executive functions, the Medication Scheduling Task (MST). Our results show that motor dysfunction can present a significant confound when using standard neuropsychological measures; however, even when accounting for motor disabilities, ALS patients show a robust pattern of cognitive dysfunctions. Additionally, MST was shown to be a sensitive measure of cognitive impairment, providing an important insight into cognitive processes relevant for patients' daily living.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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