The range and clinical impact of cognitive impairment in French patients with ALS: a cross-sectional study of neuropsychological test performance.
ABSTRACT Our objective was to assess the spectrum and clinical associations of cognitive impairment in French patients with ALS, and determine the effect of cognitive impairment on survival in this population. One hundred and thirty-one patients were enrolled in a cross-sectional cohort study of neuropsychological test performance. ANOVA and χ(2) tests assessed differences in clinical characteristics between impaired and unimpaired patients; multiple regression determined which features contributed most strongly to cognitive status, and Cox models compared survival. Fifty-three patients (40%) were categorized as cognitively impaired based on test performance. Thirteen (10%) patients had frontotemporal dementia (FTD) clinically; all scored in the moderate to severely impaired range on testing. Impaired patients had less education (p = 0.001), and severely impaired patients were more likely to have bulbar onset than unimpaired patients (p < 0.001). Severe cognitive impairment predicted shorter survival (p = 0.007), even when controlled for motor severity (p = 0.001). In summary, 10% of a consecutive series of French ALS patients had overt dementia and 40% were cognitively impaired by neuropsychological testing. We conclude that lower education level and possibly bulbar-onset ALS were associated with impairment. As in other causes of dementia, higher education attainment may protect against clinical cognitive deterioration in ALS. French patients with severe cognitive impairment have shorter survival time.
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ABSTRACT: Cognitive impairment is associated with a negative prognosis in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), as well as with clinical specificity. We investigate neuropsychological function in ALS patients without known genetic mutations in a Korean tertiary clinic. Three hundred and eighteen patients were enrolled in a prospective longitudinal cohort from September 2008 to February 2012. At the time of diagnosis of sporadic ALS, we carried out genetic and comprehensive neuropsychological tests on all patients, and collected demographic and clinical characteristics. Six cognitive domains, namely executive function, attention, language, calculation, visuospatial function and memory were evaluated. ANOVA and t-tests were used to assess differences in clinical characteristics and neuropsychological parameters between sporadic ALS patients. The Kaplan-Meier method and Cox proportional hazard model were used for survival analysis. One hundred and sixty-six patients were categorized into five subtypes: normal cognition (ALS pure), cognitive impairment (ALSci), behavioral impairment (ALSbi), frontotemporal dementia (ALS-FTD), and other types of dementia. Seventy patients (70/166, 42.2%) were cognitively or behaviorally impaired. Among the impaired patients, eight (8/166, 4.8%) had FTD-type dementia and one (1/166, 0.6%) was Alzheimer's disease-type. The ALS patients with cognitive impairment (ALSci) and with FTD (ALS-FTD) were more severely impaired in executive function, attention, language and memory than the cognitively intact ALS patients (ALS pure). In a survival analysis, ALSci (β = 1.925, p = 0.025) and ALS-FTD groups (β = 4.150, p = 0.019) tended to have shorter survival than the ALS pure group. About half of ALS patients without known genetic variation have cognitive or behavioral impairment. ALS patients with cognitive abnormalities, especially FTD, have a poorer prognosis than those without cognitive impairment. In neuropsychological profiling, executive tasks were effective in identifying cognitive impairment in the ALS patients. It would be useful for clinicians to classify ALS according to neuropsychological profiles, and screen for subtle cognitive impairment.PLoS ONE 02/2014; 9(2):e87163. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a predominantly motor disease that can be associated in half the patients with a cognitive and/or behavioral impairment. Cognitive/behavioral disorders are subclinical in most cases and need specific testing to be diagnosed. They can meet the diagnostic criteria of FTLD in 10-15 % of patients. The occurrence of cognitive/behavioral changes in patients with ALS is taken as evidence of a continuum between ALS and fronto-temporal dementias. The cognitive changes mostly involve executive functions, language and social cognition. Behavioral changes include apathy, disinhibition, lack of empathy and impulsivity. Cognitive/behavioral changes in the course of ALS are related to a shorter survival. Cognitive/behavioral changes may interfere with decision making, particularly end-of-life decisions, and they increase the burden of carers. Cognitive/behavioral changes should be recognized and assessed so as to tailor therapeutic interventions.La Presse Médicale 04/2014; · 1.17 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Neuroimaging allows investigating the extent of neurological systems degeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Advanced MRI methods can detect changes related to the degeneration of upper motor neurons but have also demonstrated the participation of other systems such as the sensory system or basal ganglia, demonstrating in vivo that ALS is a multisystem disorder. Structural and functional imaging also allows studying dysfunction of brain areas associated with cognitive signs. From a biomarker perspective, numerous studies using diffusion tensor imaging showed a decrease of fractional anisotropy in the intracranial portion of the corticospinal tract but its diagnostic value at the individual level remains limited. A multiparametric approach will be required to use MRI in the diagnostic workup of ALS. A promising avenue is the new methodological developments of spinal cord imaging that has the advantage to investigate the two motor system components that are involved in ALS, that is, the lower and upper motor neuron. For all neuroimaging modalities, due to the intrinsic heterogeneity of ALS, larger pooled banks of images with standardized image acquisition and analysis procedures are needed. In this paper, we will review the main findings obtained with MRI, PET, SPECT, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy in ALS.BioMed Research International 01/2014; 2014:467560. · 2.71 Impact Factor