Utility and validity of a brief cognitive assessment tool in patients with epileptic and nonepileptic seizures

ArticleinEpilepsy & Behavior 21(2):177-83 · June 2011with30 Reads
Impact Factor: 2.26 · DOI: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2011.02.025 · Source: PubMed

Cognitive impairment is not uncommon in patients with epilepsy, and may relate to the underlying pathophysiology of epilepsy, the effects of seizures, or epilepsy treatment. Formal neuropsychological testing is not available in many centers, and few cognitive screening tools have been validated in an epilepsy population. We aimed to ascertain the reliability and validity of a multidimensional cognitive screening instrument, the Neuropsychiatry Unit Cognitive Assessment Tool (NUCOG), in a mixed epilepsy population. One hundred sixty-one of 177 consecutive patients admitted to a video telemetry unit were assessed with the NUCOG and classified with respect to seizure semiology, and a subset (n=33) were formally neuropsychologically assessed. Scores did not differ between patients with epileptiform, those with nonepileptiform, and those with mixed EEGs on the NUCOG, nor between patients with focal and those with generalized epilepsies. Patients with a temporal lobe focus performed more poorly in general, and in memory specifically, than patients with an extratemporal focus. Scores on the NUCOG subscales Memory, Attention, and Executive Functioning correlated significantly with neuropsychological testing of these same domains, although patients were not impaired on measures of language or spatial function. The NUCOG appears to correlate strongly with neuropsychological functioning in a number of key cognitive areas affected in patients with epilepsy, and appears to robustly detect memory impairment in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy.

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    No preview · Article · Sep 2013 · Epilepsy & Behavior
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  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study presents a systematic review of validity evidence for neuropsychological batteries. Studies published in international databases between 2005 and 2012 were examined. Considering the specificity of neuropsychological batteries, the aim of the study was to review the statistical analyses and procedures that have been used to validate these instruments. A total of 1,218 abstracts were read, of which 147 involved studies of neuropsychological batteries or tests that evaluated at least three cognitive processes. The full text of each article was analyzed according to publication year, focal instrument of the study, sample type, sample age range, characterization of the participants, and procedures and analyses used to provide evidence of validity. The results showed that the studies primarily analyzed patterns of convergence and divergence by correlating the instruments with other tests. Measures of reliability, such as internal consistency and test-retest reliability, were also frequently employed. To provide evidence of relationships between test scores and external criteria, the most common procedures were evaluations of sensitivity and specificity, and comparisons were made between contrasting groups. The statistical analyses frequently used were Receiver Operating Characteristic analysis, Pearson correlation, and Cronbach's alpha. We discuss the necessity of incorporating both classic and modern psychometric procedures and presenting a broader scope of validity evidence, which would represent progress in this field. Finally, we hope our findings will help researchers better plan the validation process for new neuropsychological instruments and batteries.
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