A first approach to a neuropsychological screening tool using eye-tracking for bedside cognitive testing based on the Edinburgh Cognitive and Behavioural ALS Screen

Jürgen Keller, Amon Krimly, Lisa Bauer, Sarah Schulenburg, Sarah Böhm, Helena E. A. Aho-Özhan, Ingo Uttner, Martin Gorges, Jan Kassubek, Elmar H. Pinkhardt, Sharon Abrahams, Albert C Ludolph, Dorothée Lulé

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Reliable assessment of cognitive functions is a challenging task in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients unable to speak and write. We therefore present an eye-tracking based neuropsychological screening tool based on the Edinburgh Cognitive and Behavioural ALS Screen (ECAS), a standard screening tool for cognitive deficits in ALS. Methods: In total, 46 ALS patients and 50 healthy controls matched for age, gender and education were tested with an oculomotor based and a standard paper-and-pencil version of the ECAS. Results: Significant correlation between both versions was observed for ALS patients and healthy controls in the ECAS total score and in all of its ALS-specific domains (all r > 0.3; all p < 0.05). The eye-tracking version of the ECAS reliably distinguished between ALS patients and healthy controls in the ECAS total score (p < 0.05). Also, cognitively impaired and non-impaired patients could be reliably distinguished with a specificity of 95%. Conclusion: This study provides first evidence that the eye-tracking based ECAS version is a promising approach for assessing cognitive deficits in ALS patients who are unable to speak or write.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
JournalAmyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration
Volume18
Issue number5-6
Early online date19 Apr 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Apr 2017

Keywords

  • eye-tracking
  • cognition
  • Edinburgh Cognitive and Behavioural ALS Screen
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Motor Neuron Disease

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