Using the Frontal Assessment Battery to identify executive function impairments in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A preliminary experience

Amyotroph Lateral Scler. 2010;11(1-2):244-7. doi: 10.3109/17482960903059588.


Up to 50% of persons with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) develop cognitive impairments, particularly of executive function (EF). The Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB) provides a method for rapid assessment of EF. We investigated the FAB as an assessment of cognitive impairment among 16 subjects with ALS, and evaluated their performance on the FAB and the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). Raw FAB and MMSE scores were Z-transformed using published age- and education-based norms. FAB Z-scores were significantly lower than MMSE Z-scores (p<0.03). Eight subjects (50%) were impaired (Z < or = -2) on the FAB while no subjects were impaired on the MMSE. MMSE and FAB scores did not vary as function of disease duration, laterality of onset, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale-Revised (ALSFRS-R) scores. Further study of the suitability of the FAB as a domain-specific screening measure of executive dysfunction for ALS is warranted.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / complications
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / physiopathology*
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology
  • Executive Function / physiology*
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales*
  • Severity of Illness Index