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Edinburgh Cognitive and Behavioral Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Screen (ECAS) in Norway: Protocol for validation and a prospective cohort study

Journal article
Authors T. Taule
A. S. Morland
M. A. Rensa
J. Assmus
O. B. Tysnes
Tiina Rekand
Published in Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications
Volume 14
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Language en
Keywords Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Cognitive, Screening, Validation, Predictor, ECAS, als, impairment, epidemiology, management, criteria, scale, tool, Research & Experimental Medicine
Subject categories Clinical Medicine


In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) cognitive impairment may occur. This could detrimentally influence communication between patient and health-care professionals and make clinical assessment difficult. Given the short life expectancy after diagnosis, it is crucial to accurately identify ALS patients early. Although suitable cognitive screening tools for patients with ALS are available, they have not been evaluated in a Norwegian population. Interpretation of scores for available tests and practical application of scoring is also not well established. The protocol described here involves two related studies that aim to improve the quality of ALS clinical testing instruments used in the Norwegian population. The first is a validation study that evaluates the psychometric properties of the ECAS-Norwegian. The second is a prospective cohort study that evaluates the ECAS-Norwegian as a tool to predict early changes in ability to work, drive a car and the need for advanced therapy. Study 1 is a multicenter study using international quality criteria. Patients with ALS, healthy control subjects, and control subjects with dementia will be included. Primary outcome is ECAS-Norwegian scores. In study 2, patients with ALS will be included. ECAS-Norwegian compared to Clinical Dementia Rating score and Montreal Cognitive Assessment scores will be used as a prognostic tool for working, driving, and initiating advanced life-prolonging therapy. Before clinical implementation, the ECAS-Norwegian needs to be evaluated and validated. Successful validation and implementation of the ECAS-Norwegian may provide early identification of cognitive impairment in ALS, leading to more proactive, individualized treatment.

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