The Rao's Brief Repeatable Battery and Stroop Test: normative values with age, education and gender corrections in an Italian population

Mult Scler. 2006 Dec;12(6):787-93. doi: 10.1177/1352458506070933.


The Brief Repeatable Battery of Neuropsychological Tests (BRB) is by far the most widely used instrument to estimate cognitive dysfunction in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. However, the paucity of normative data currently limits its applicability. We administered the BRB to 200 healthy subjects to obtain normative values. Moreover, we assessed the influence of demographic factors on the test scores and calculated corrections for these relevant factors. To test executive functions not explored by the BRB, we also included the Stroop word-color task (ST). Higher educational level was associated with better performance on all the tests, except for the world list generation (WLG) and the ST, considering version A, and on Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT), Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (PASAT) and Selective Reminding Test-Delayed (SRT-D), considering version B. Females performed better than males on the WLG considering version A, and on the SRT-Long-Term Storage (SRT-LTS) and SRT-Consistent Long-Term Retrieval (SRT-CLTR) considering version B. Increasing age was associated with worse performance on the ST in version A, and on the SRT-LTS, SRT-CLTR and WLG in version B. Our data can improve the applicability of the BRB for both clinical and research purposes.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology
  • Cognition*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / diagnosis
  • Multiple Sclerosis / physiopathology
  • Neuropsychological Tests / standards*
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sex Factors