The need for harmonisation and innovation of neuropsychological assessment in neurodegenerative dementias in Europe: consensus document of the Joint Program for Neurodegenerative Diseases Working Group

Alberto Costa*, Thomas Bak, Paolo Caffarra, Carlo Caltagirone, Mathieu Ceccaldi, Fabienne Collette, Sebastian Crutch, Sergio Della Sala, Jean Francois Demonet, Bruno Dubois, Emrah Duzel, Peter Nestor, Sokratis G. Papageorgiou, Eric Salmon, Sietske Sikkes, Pietro Tiraboschi, Wiesje M. van der Flier, Pieter Jelle Visser, Stefano F. Cappa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review

50 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Cognitive, behavioural, and functional assessment is crucial in longitudinal studies of neurodegenerative dementias (NDD). Central issues, such as the definition of the study population (asymptomatic, at risk, or individuals with dementia), the detection of change/decline, and the assessment of relevant outcomes depend on quantitative measures of cognitive, behavioural, and functional status. Currently, we are far from having available reliable protocols and tools for the assessment of dementias in Europe. The main problems are the heterogeneity of the tools used across different European countries, the lack of standardisation of administration and scoring methods across centres, and the limited information available about the psychometric properties of many tests currently in widespread use. This situation makes it hard to compare results across studies carried out in different centres, thus hampering research progress, in particular towards the contribution to a "big data" common data set.

We present here the results of a project funded by the Joint Program for Neurodegenerative Diseases (JPND) and by the Italian Ministry of Health. The project aimed at providing a consensus framework for the harmonisation of assessment tools to be applied to research in neurodegenerative disorders affecting cognition across Europe. A panel of European experts reviewed the current methods of neuropsychological assessment, identified pending issues, and made recommendations for the harmonisation of neuropsychological assessment of neurodegenerative dementias in Europe. A consensus was achieved on the general recommendations to be followed in developing procedures and tools for neuropsychological assessment, with the aim of harmonising tools and procedures to achieve more reliable data on the cognitive-behavioural examination. The results of this study should be considered as a first step to enhancing a common view and practise on NDD assessment across European countries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number27
Number of pages15
JournalAlzheimer's Research & Therapy
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2017

Keywords

  • Neurodegenerative dementia
  • Cognitive assessment
  • Behavioural assessment
  • Neuropsychological tests
  • Longitudinal studies
  • European research
  • MILD COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT
  • POSTERIOR CORTICAL ATROPHY
  • VARIANT FRONTOTEMPORAL DEMENTIA
  • PREDEMENTIA ALZHEIMERS-DISEASE
  • PRIMARY PROGRESSIVE APHASIA
  • FRONTAL ASSESSMENT BATTERY
  • TERM-MEMORY BINDING
  • MINI-MENTAL-STATE
  • DIAGNOSTIC-CRITERIA
  • INSTRUMENTAL ACTIVITIES

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