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Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener. 2016;17(3-4):221-7. doi: 10.3109/21678421.2015.1125500. Epub 2016 Jan 4.

Cognitive impairment in ALS patients and validation of the Spanish version of the ALS-CBS test.

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a Department of Neurology , Bellvitge University Hospital , L'Hospitalet de Llobregat and.
b IDI-PET-Bellvitge University Hospital-IDIBELL , L'Hospitalet de Llobregat , Spain.


Our aim was to develop and validate the Spanish version of the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Cognitive Behavioural Screen (ALS-CBS) and investigate behavioural/cognitive impairment in our ALS patients. We enrolled 50 patients with definite or probable ALS, evaluated by the Motor Neuron Disease Unit (using El Escorial criteria) and Dementia Unit, and assessed with the Spanish ALS-CBS. The patients' cognitive/behavioural status was classified according to current criteria. Patients were classified into each diagnostic category: ALS-no impairment, 36%; ALS-mild cognitive impairment, 34%; ALS-mild behavioural impairment, 6%; ALS-mild cognitive/behavioural impairment, 12%; ALS-frontotemporal dementia, 12%. Cognitive impairment was more common in bulbar (90.9%) than spinal (48.7%) forms (p < 0.012). The Spanish ALS-CBS was validated. Performance to differentiate normal vs. impaired individuals was: 1) cognition (cut-off 15; AUC, 84.7%): sensitivity 86.2%, specificity 62%, positive predictive value 75.8%, negative predictive value 76.5%; 2) behaviour (cut-off 36; AUC, 83.3%): sensitivity 93.3%, specificity 74.3%, positive predictive value 61%, negative predictive value 96.3%. Performance to differentiate between patients with and without dementia: 1) cognition (cut-off 8; AUC, 87.3%): sensitivity 83.3%, specificity 75%, positive predictive value 31.3%, negative predictive value 97.1%; 2) behaviour (cut-off 35; AUC, 80.9%): sensitivity 83.3%, specificity 69%, positive predictive value 25%, negative predictive value 96.7%. In conclusion, cognitive impairment is common in ALS patients, particularly in bulbar forms. The Spanish version of the ALS-CBS is useful for screening cognitive/behavioural impairment in this population.


ALS-CBS; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; cognitive impairment; frontotemporal dementia

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