Utility of an abbreviated version of the executive and social cognition battery in the detection of executive deficits in early behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia patients

J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2010 Jul;16(4):687-94. doi: 10.1017/S1355617710000482. Epub 2010 Apr 19.


The detection of executive deficits in early behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) is crucial, as impairments in the executive domain constitute an important diagnostic feature of the newly proposed diagnostic criteria for bvFTD. Our group has recently demonstrated that classical executive tests fail to detect the executive deficits of a subgroup of early bvFTD patients. When administered an executive and social cognition battery (ESCB) that includes tasks that mimic everyday scenarios (e.g., affective decision-making, planning and organization, theory of mind), however, the performance of those bvFTD patients differed significantly from that of controls. One limitation of the ESCB is its lengthy nature (approximately 90 min). For this reason, the present study analyzes the usefulness of alternative shorter versions of this battery. We propose one particular two-task combination that demands approximately 30 min for its administration and scoring, and which presents similar discriminatory accuracy as that of the complete ESCB, while maintaining its significantly superior capacity to detect subtle executive deficits in bvFTD patients relative to classical executive tests. We suggest that, in clinical settings where tools, time, or human resources are scarce, this abbreviated ESCB may be useful in the detection of subtle yet impairing executive impairments of patients with bvFTD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Area Under Curve
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Executive Function / physiology*
  • Female
  • Frontotemporal Dementia / complications*
  • Frontotemporal Dementia / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Social Behavior*