Cerebellar impulsivity-compulsivity assessment scale

Ann Clin Transl Neurol. 2023 Jan;10(1):48-57. doi: 10.1002/acn3.51698. Epub 2022 Nov 19.


Objective: The cerebellum has been identified as the key brain region that modulates reward processing in animal models. Consistently, we recently found that people with cerebellar ataxia have impulsive and compulsive behaviors (ICBs), the main symptoms related to abnormal reward processing. Due to the lack of a validated scale to quantitatively measure ICBs in cerebellar disorders, we aim to develop and validate a new scale, Cerebellar Impulsivity-Compulsivity Assessment (CIA).

Methods: We recruited 62 cerebellar ataxia cases, categorized into those with ICBs and those without. We developed a preliminary version of CIA, containing 17 questions. We studied the internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and inter-rater reliability to formulate the final version of CIA, which constitutes only 10 questions. The receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) was generated to assess the sensitivity and specificity of CIA.

Results: Cerebellar ataxia cases with ICBs have threefold higher total preliminary CIA scores than those without ICBs (12.06 ± 5.96 vs. 4.68 ± 3.50, p = 0.038). Cronbach's alpha revealed good internal consistency across all items (α > 0.70). By performing the test-retest reliability and inter-rater reliability on the preliminary version of CIA, we excluded seven questions (r < 0.70) and generated the final version of CIA. Based on the ROC, a score of 8.0 in CIA was chosen as the cut-off for ICBs in individuals with cerebellar ataxia with 81% sensitivity and 81% specificity.

Interpretation: CIA is a novel tool to assess ICBs in cerebellar ataxia and broaden our understanding of the cerebellum-related cognitive and behavioral symptoms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cerebellar Ataxia* / diagnosis
  • Cerebellar Diseases*
  • Cerebellum
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior
  • Reproducibility of Results