Edinburgh Cognitive and Behavioral ALS Screen

Authors: V.Y. Chernenkaya, K.V. Gorbachev, D.V. Gorbachev, A.I. Ataulina, V.V. Fominykh, L.V. Brylev, A.B. Geht

Previously, it was believed that ALS affects only neurons that control muscles, while the intellect remains intact. But studies have confirmed cognitive and/or behavioral changes in 50% of patients with ALS (Goldstein & Abrahams, 2013), with 10% of them developing frontotemporal dementia.

The ECAS scale was developed by S. Abrahams and T. Bak specifically for assessing such disorders in patients with ALS and is already used in several languages.

A group of researchers has already translated the scale into Russian and validated it. The Russian-language version is available on the official website.

ECAS consists of two parts:

The first part of the scale assesses language skills, fluency, executive functions, memory, and visual-spatial perception. It is designed to distinguish cognitive changes associated with ALS from those associated with other disorders common in older adults, particularly Alzheimer’s disease or vascular disease. The patient can answer questions verbally, write them down, or point at the offered choices. The scale is suitable for patients with both dysarthria and hand weakness.

The second part, the behavioral disorder scale, is completed with a caregiver or relative separate from the patient.

An article was published based on the results of the study:

Chernenkaya VYu, Gorbachev KV, Gorbachev DV, Ataulina AI, Fominykh VV, Brylev LV, Guekht AB. The Edinburgh Cognitive and Behavioral ALS Screen (ECAS): a Russian version.. Zhurnal Nevrologii i Psikhiatrii imeni S.S. Korsakova. 2018;118(12):36‑39. (In Russ.)https://doi.org/10.17116/jnevro201811812136
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This work was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research grant №18-315-00228 mol_a and the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Foundation “Live Now”.

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