The ALS-FTD-Q: A new screening tool for behavioral disturbances in ALS

J. Raaphorst, E. Beeldman, B. Schmand, J. Berkhout, W.H.J.P. Linssen, L.H. Van den Berg, Y.A.L. Pijnenburg, H.F. Grupstra, J.G. Weikamp, H.J. Schelhaas, J.M. Papma, J.C. van Swieten, M. de Visser, R.J. de Haan

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Objective: The assessment of behavioral disturbances in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is important because of the overlap with the behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia (ALS-bvFTD). Motor symptoms and dysarthria are not taken into account in currently used behavioral questionnaires. We examined the clinimetric properties of a new behavioral questionnaire for patients with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis-Frontotemporal Dementia-Questionnaire [ALS-FTD-Q]). Methods: In addition to other clinimetric properties, we examined reliability, clinical validity, and construct validity of the ALS-FTD-Q, using data from patients with ALS (n = 103), ALS-bvFTD (n = 10), bvFTD (n = 25), muscle disease control subjects (n = 39), and control subjects (n = 31). Construct validity of the ALS-FTD-Q was assessed using the Frontal Systems Behavior scale (FrSBe), Frontal Behavioral Inventory (FBI), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, ALS Functional Rating Scale Revised, Frontal Assessment Battery, Mini-Mental State Examination, and a fluency index. In addition, the point prevalence of behavioral disturbances according to the ALSFTD- Q was compared with those obtained with the FrSBe and FBI. Results: The internal consistency of the ALS-FTD-Q was good (Cronbach α = 0.92). The ALSFTD- Q showed construct validity because it correlated highly with other behavioral measures (r = 0.80 and 0.79), moderately with measures of frontal functions and global cognitive functioning (r = 0.37; r = 0.32), and poorly with anxiety/depression and motor impairment (r = 0.18 for both). The ALS-FTD-Q discriminated between patients with ALS-bvFTD, patients with ALS, and control subjects. The point prevalence of behavioral disturbances in patients with ALS measured with the ALS-FTD-Q was lower than that for the FrSBe and FBI. Conclusion: The ALS-FTD-Q is a feasible and clinimetrically validated instrument for the screening of behavioral disturbances in ALS. © 2012 by AAN Enterprises, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1377-1383
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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