The validation of the Italian Edinburgh Cognitive and Behavioural ALS Screen (ECAS)

Barbara Poletti, Federica Solca, Laura Carelli, Fabiana Madotto, Annalisa Lafronza, Andrea Faini, Alessia Monti, Stefano Zago, Daniela Calini, Cinzia Tiloca, Alberto Doretti, Federico Verde, Antonia Ratti, Nicola Ticozzi, Sharon Abrahams, Vincenzo Silani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study presents the Italian validation of the recently developed Edinburgh Cognitive and Behavioural ALS Screen (ECAS), a short screen for cognitive/behavioural alterations in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We evaluated the psychometric properties of the ECAS Italian version in terms of reliability and convergent validity for both cognitive and behavioural features. Furthermore, we investigated the relationship with affective and clinical variables, in addition to ECAS usability and patients’ insight into cognitive/behaviour changes. Finally, correlations between genetic and cognitive/behavioural data were analysed. We recruited 107 patients with ALS. Normative data were collected on 248 healthy subjects. Participants were administered the ECAS and two standard cognitive screening tools (FAB, MoCA), two psychological questionnaires (BDI, STAI/Y) and an ad hoc usability questionnaire. The FBI was also carried out with caregivers. Results showed that the ECAS Italian version discriminated well between patients and controls. The most prevalent deficit occurred in executive functions and fluency. Correlations were observed between the ECAS and standard cognitive screening tools and between the ECAS carer interview and the FBI, supporting its full convergent validity. In conclusion, the ECAS Italian version provides clinicians with a rapid, feasible and sensitive tool, useful to identify different profiles of cognitive-behavioural impairment in ALS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalAmyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration
Publication statusAccepted/In press - May 20 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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