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Three polyneuropathy scores are described, which seem to be valid and sensible measures to score dysfunction and disability in patients with generalised motor neuropathies
In this issue of the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry are three closely related reports on scores for assessing the functional disability of patients with polyneuropathies. A further purpose may be to assess the severity of the polyneuropathy itself. Most patients studied had immune polyneuropathies and generalised weakness. In the first one, Graham and Hughes1 describe “a new peripheral neuropathy activities measure, the Overall Neuropathy Limitations Scale (ONLS)”, a slight modification of the Overall Disability Sum Score (ODSS) (see p 973). From responses of patients to questions about limitations of acts of daily living and by observation of these activities, a sum score of limitations is derived. Activities such as “wash and brush hair, turn a key in the lock, difficulty in walking” and other motor activities are included. The patient and observer (when the activities were witnessed) judged each activity: not affected, affected but not prevented or prevented. The investigators report good inter-rater reliability, good correlation with results of the ODSS and 36-item Short Form (SF-36) Physical Component Summary scores. The performance of this limitations score was good, whether the activity was observed or unobserved. They list simplicity as its favourable feature.
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