Italian reference values and brain correlates of verbal fluency index - vs standard verbal fluency test - to assess executive dysfunction in ALS

Elisa Canu, Veronica Castelnovo, Paola Mv Rancoita, Michela Leocadi, Alessandra Lamanuzzi, Edoardo Gioele Spinelli, Silvia Basaia, Nilo Riva, Barbara Poletti, Federica Solca, Federico Verde, Nicola Ticozzi, Vincenzo Silani, Sharon Abrahams, Massimo Filippi, Federica Agosta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Objectives: In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), verbal fluency index (Vfi) is used to investigate fluency accounting for motor impairment. This study has three aims: (1) to provide Vfi reference values from a cohort of Italian healthy subjects; (2) to assess the ability of Vfi reference values (vs standard verbal fluency test [VFT]) in distinguishing ALS patients with and without executive dysfunction; and (3) to investigate the association between Vfi and brain structural features of ALS patients. Methods: We included 180 healthy subjects and 157 ALS patients who underwent neuropsychological assessment, including VFT and Vfi, and brain MRI. Healthy subjects were split into four subgroups according to sex and education. For each subgroup, we defined the 95th percentile of Vfi as the cutoff. In ALS, the distributions of "abnormal" cases based on Vfi and standard VFT cutoffs were compared using Fisher's exact test. Using quantile regressions in patients, we assessed the association between Vfi and VFT scores, separately, with gray matter volumes and white matter (WM) tract integrity. Results: Applying Vfi and VFT cutoffs, 9 and 13% of ALS cases, respectively, had abnormal scores (p 
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalAmyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration
Early online date18 Jan 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Jan 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • cognitive classification
  • motor neuron disease
  • normative data
  • verbal fluency index

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