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Cognitive functioning in sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a six month longitudinal study
  1. K M Robinson1,
  2. S C Lacey2,
  3. P Grugan3,
  4. G Glosser4,
  5. M Grossman4,
  6. L F McCluskey5
  1. 1Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Health System, Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  2. 2Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
  3. 3Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Health System, Philadelphia
  4. 4Department of Neurology, University of Pennsylvania Health System, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  5. 5Department of Neurology, Penn Neurological Institute at Pennsylvania Hospital, University of Pennsylvania Health System, Philadelphia
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Keith M Robinson
 University of Pennsylvania Health System, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Pennsylvania Hospital, 801 Spruce Street, 3rd Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA; kerobi{at}pahosp.com

Abstract

Objective: To observe changes in cognition over six months in subjects with recently diagnosed sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Methods: The study used a between-group and within-group longitudinal design. Nineteen ALS subjects and eight matched caregivers were recruited to participate in baseline neuropsychological assessments that were repeated six months later. Between group comparisons for these variables were undertaken at baseline and six months later. Within group/across time comparisons for these variables were carried out for both groups. Individual analyses for the neuropsychological variables using z scores were done for the ALS subjects using their baseline performance as the basis for comparison with their six month performance.

Results: The between-group and within-group comparisons did not show significant differences in cognitive function over time. In individual analyses, however, seven of 19 ALS subjects (36.84%) developed abnormal neuropsychological performance over six months.

Conclusions: Early in the disease course, over one third of the ALS subjects developed cognitive deficits over six months. These findings support the hypothesis that cognitive deficits in ALS become more prominent over time.

  • ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • ALSA, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association
  • FTD, frontotemporal dementia
  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • cognition

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Footnotes

  • Competing interests: none declared

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