Screening for cognitive impairment in a Chinese ALS population

Qianqian Wei, Xueping Chen, Zhenzhen Zheng, Rui Huang, Xiaoyan Guo, Bei Cao, Thomas H Bak, Huifang Shang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite growing interest in cognitive impairment of ALS patients, there are only limited studies available that characterize cognitive deficits in the Chinese ALS population through highly sensitive and specific screening tools. The Chinese version of the Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination-revised (ACE-R) and mini-mental state examination (MMSE) were applied to evaluate cognitive function in 145 sporadic ALS patients and 50 healthy controls. The mean onset age was 50.72 ± 12.38 years. Results showed that the prevalence of cognitive deficits was 14.48% and 30.34% based on the MMSE and ACE-R, respectively. Patients had a broad range of cognitive impairment domains, including language (26.21%), orientation/attention (24.13%), visuospatial ability (24.13%), memory (23.45%) and verbal fluency (22.76%). Logistic regression indicated that older age of onset, female gender and lower educational levels were potential determinants of cognitive deficits in ALS. Multiple regression analyses showed that the cognitive deficit during the baseline visit was not associated with the progression rate of ALS. In conclusion, cognitive impairment is common in Chinese ALS patients, but does not necessarily worsen the progression of ALS. ACE-R is superior to MMSE in detecting deficits in patients. Cognitive impairment in ALS patients may relate to age of onset, female gender and lower education level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalAmyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2014


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