Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 6

Neuropsychology Related Abstracts

6 Diagnostic Contribution of the MMSE-2:EV in the Detection and Monitoring of the Cognitive Impairment: Case Studies

Authors: Cornelia-Eugenia Munteanu

Abstract:

The goal of this paper is to present the diagnostic contribution that the screening instrument, Mini-Mental State Examination-2: Expanded Version (MMSE-2:EV), brings in detecting the cognitive impairment or in monitoring the progress of degenerative disorders. The diagnostic signification is underlined by the interpretation of the MMSE-2:EV scores, resulted from the test application to patients with mild and major neurocognitive disorders. The original MMSE is one of the most widely used screening tools for detecting the cognitive impairment, in clinical settings, but also in the field of neurocognitive research. Now, the practitioners and researchers are turning their attention to the MMSE-2. To enhance its clinical utility, the new instrument was enriched and reorganized in three versions (MMSE-2:BV, MMSE-2:SV and MMSE-2:EV), each with two forms: blue and red. The MMSE-2 was adapted and used successfully in Romania since 2013. The cases were selected from current practice, in order to cover vast and significant neurocognitive pathology: mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, mixed dementia, Parkinson’s disease, conversion of the mild cognitive impairment into Alzheimer’s disease. The MMSE-2:EV version was used: it was applied one month after the initial assessment, three months after the first reevaluation and then every six months, alternating the blue and red forms. Correlated with age and educational level, the raw scores were converted in T scores and then, with the mean and the standard deviation, the z scores were calculated. The differences of raw scores between the evaluations were analyzed from the point of view of statistic signification, in order to establish the progression in time of the disease. The results indicated that the psycho-diagnostic approach for the evaluation of the cognitive impairment with MMSE-2:EV is safe and the application interval is optimal. The alternation of the forms prevents the learning phenomenon. The diagnostic accuracy and efficient therapeutic conduct derive from the usage of the national test norms. In clinical settings with a large flux of patients, the application of the MMSE-2:EV is a safe and fast psycho-diagnostic solution. The clinicians can draw objective decisions and for the patients: it doesn’t take too much time and energy, it doesn’t bother them and it doesn’t force them to travel frequently.

Keywords: Neuropsychology, Dementia, Cognitive Impairment, MMSE-2

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5 Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum: The Role of Neuropsychological Assessment with Implications to Psychosocial Rehabilitation

Authors: Ron Dick, P. S. D. V. Prasadarao, Glenn Coltman

Abstract:

Agenesis of the corpus callosum (ACC) is a failure to develop corpus callosum - the large bundle of fibers of the brain that connects the two cerebral hemispheres. It can occur as a partial or complete absence of the corpus callosum. In the general population, its estimated prevalence rate is 1 in 4000 and a wide range of genetic, infectious, vascular, and toxic causes have been attributed to this heterogeneous condition. The diagnosis of ACC is often achieved by neuroimaging procedures. Though persons with ACC can perform normally on intelligence tests they generally present with a range of neuropsychological and social deficits. The deficit profile is characterized by poor coordination of motor movements, slow reaction time, processing speed and, poor memory. Socially, they present with deficits in communication, language processing, the theory of mind, and interpersonal relationships. The present paper illustrates the role of neuropsychological assessment with implications to psychosocial management in a case of agenesis of the corpus callosum. Method: A 27-year old left handed Caucasian male with a history of ACC was self-referred for a neuropsychological assessment to assist him in his employment options. Parents noted significant difficulties with coordination and balance at an early age of 2-3 years and he was diagnosed with dyspraxia at the age of 14 years. History also indicated visual impairment, hypotonia, poor muscle coordination, and delayed development of motor milestones. MRI scan indicated agenesis of the corpus callosum with ventricular morphology, widely spaced parallel lateral ventricles and mild dilatation of the posterior horns; it also showed colpocephaly—a disproportionate enlargement of the occipital horns of the lateral ventricles which might be affecting his motor abilities and visual defects. The MRI scan ruled out other structural abnormalities or neonatal brain injury. At the time of assessment, the subject presented with such problems as poor coordination, slowed processing speed, poor organizational skills and time management, and difficulty with social cues and facial expressions. A comprehensive neuropsychological assessment was planned and conducted to assist in identifying the current neuropsychological profile to facilitate the formulation of a psychosocial and occupational rehabilitation programme. Results: General intellectual functioning was within the average range and his performance on memory-related tasks was adequate. Significant visuospatial and visuoconstructional deficits were evident across tests; constructional difficulties were seen in tasks such as copying a complex figure, building a tower and manipulating blocks. Poor visual scanning ability and visual motor speed were evident. Socially, the subject reported heightened social anxiety, difficulty in responding to cues in the social environment, and difficulty in developing intimate relationships. Conclusion: Persons with ACC are known to present with specific cognitive deficits and problems in social situations. Findings from the current neuropsychological assessment indicated significant visuospatial difficulties, poor visual scanning and problems in social interactions. His general intellectual functioning was within the average range. Based on the findings from the comprehensive neuropsychological assessment, a structured psychosocial rehabilitation programme was developed and recommended.

Keywords: Rehabilitation, Neuropsychology, psychosocial, corpus, agenesis, callosum

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4 Neurocognitive and Executive Function in Cocaine Addicted Females

Authors: Gwendolyn Royal-Smith

Abstract:

Cocaine ranks as one of the world’s most addictive and commonly abused stimulant drugs. Recent evidence indicates that the abuse of cocaine has risen so quickly among females that this group now accounts for about 40 percent of all users in the United States. Neuropsychological studies have demonstrated that specific neural activation patterns carry higher risks for neurocognitive and executive function in cocaine addicted females thereby increasing their vulnerability for poorer treatment outcomes and more frequent post-treatment relapse when compared to males. This study examined secondary data with a convenience sample of 164 cocaine addicted male and females to assess neurocognitive and executive function. The principal objective of this study was to assess whether individual performance on the Stroop Word Color Task is predictive of treatment success by gender. A second objective of the study evaluated whether individual performance employing neurocognitive measures including the Stroop Word-Color task, the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RALVT), the Iowa Gambling Task, the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task (WISCT), the total score from the Barratte Impulsiveness Scale (Version 11) (BIS-11) and the total score from the Frontal Systems Behavioral Scale (FrSBE) test demonstrated differences in neurocognitive and executive function performance by gender. Logistic regression models were employed utilizing a covariate adjusted model application. Initial analyses of the Stroop Word color tasks indicated significant differences in the performance of males and females, with females experiencing more challenges in derived interference reaction time and associate recall ability. In early testing including the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RALVT), the number of advantageous vs disadvantageous cards from the Iowa Gambling Task, the number of perseverance errors from the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task (WISCT), the total score from the Barratte Impulsiveness Scale (Version 11) (BIS-11) and the total score from the Frontal Systems Behavioral Scale, results were mixed with women scoring lower in multiple indicators in both neurocognitive and executive function.

Keywords: Gender, Neuropsychology, cocaine addiction, neurocognitive, executive function

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3 Executive Functions Directly Associated with Severity of Perceived Pain above and beyond Depression in the Context of Medical Rehabilitation

Authors: O. Elkana, O Heyman, S. Hamdan, M. Franko, J. Vatine

Abstract:

Objective: To investigate whether a direct link exists between perceived pain (PP) and executive functions (EF), above and beyond the influence of depression symptoms, in the context of medical rehabilitation. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Rehabilitation Hospital. Participants: 125 medical records of hospitalized patients were screened for matching to our inclusion criteria. Only 60 patients were found fit and were asked to participate. 19 decline to participate on personal basis. The 41 neurologically intact patients (mean age 46, SD 14.96) that participated in this study were in their sub-acute stage of recovery, with fluent Hebrew, with intact upper limb (to neutralize influence on psychomotor performances) and without an organic brain damage. Main Outcome Measures: EF were assessed using the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) and the Stop-Signal Test (SST). PP was measured using 3 well-known pain questionnaires: Pain Disability Index (PDI), The Short-Form McGill Questionnaire (SF-MPQ) and the Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS). Perceived pain index (PPI) was calculated by the mean score composite from the 3 pain questionnaires. Depression symptoms were assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). Results: The results indicate that irrespective of the presence of depression symptoms, PP is directly correlated with response inhibition (SST partial correlation: r=0.5; p=0.001) and mental flexibility (WSCT partial correlation: r=-0.37; p=0.021), suggesting decreased performance in EF as PP severity increases. High correlations were found between the 3 pain measurements: SF-MPQ with PDI (r=0.62, p<0.001), SF-MPQ with PCS (r=0.58, p<0.001) and PDI with PCS (r=0.38, p=0.016) and each questionnaire alone was also significantly associated with EF; thus, no specific questionnaires ‘pulled’ the results obtained by the general index (PPI). Conclusion: Examining the direct association between PP and EF, beyond the contribution of depression symptoms, provides further clinical evidence suggesting that EF and PP share underlying mediating neuronal mechanisms. Clinically, the importance of assessing patients' EF abilities as well as PP severity during rehabilitation is underscored.

Keywords: Neuropsychology, Depression, Response Inhibition, Executive Functions, pain perception, mental-flexibility, perceived pain

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2 Chronic Cognitive Impacts of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury during Aging

Authors: Camille Charlebois-Plante, Marie-Ève Bourassa, Gaelle Dumel, Meriem Sabir, Louis De Beaumont

Abstract:

To the extent of our knowledge, there has been little interest in the chronic effects of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) on cognition during normal aging. This is rather surprising considering the impacts on daily and social functioning. In addition, sustaining a mTBI during late adulthood may increase the effect of normal biological aging in individuals who consider themselves normal and healthy. The objective of this study was to characterize the persistent neuropsychological repercussions of mTBI sustained during late adulthood, on average 12 months prior to testing. To this end, 35 mTBI patients and 42 controls between the ages of 50 and 69 completed an exhaustive neuropsychological assessment lasting three hours. All mTBI patients were asymptomatic and all participants had a score ≥ 27 at the MoCA. The evaluation consisted of 20 standardized neuropsychological tests measuring memory, attention, executive and language functions, as well as information processing speed. Performance on tests of visual (Brief Visuospatial Memory Test Revised) and verbal memory (Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test and WMS-IV Logical Memory subtest), lexical access (Boston Naming Test) and response inhibition (Stroop) revealed to be significantly lower in the mTBI group. These findings suggest that a mTBI sustained during late adulthood induces lasting effects on cognitive function. Episodic memory and executive functions seem to be particularly vulnerable to enduring mTBI effects.

Keywords: Neuropsychology, Cognitive Function, mild traumatic brain injury, late adulthood

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1 Neuropsychological Assessment and Rehabilitation Settings for Developmental Dyslexia in Children in Greece: The Use of Music at Intervention Protocols

Authors: Maria Bampou, Argyris B. Karapetsas, Rozi M. Laskaraki, Aikaterini A. Karapetsa, Valentini N. Vamvaka

Abstract:

The main aim of the current protocol is the contribution of neuropsychology in both assessment and rehabilitation settings for children with dyslexia. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the significant role of neuropsychological assessment including both Psychometric and electrophysiological tests as well as to investigate the effectiveness of an Auditory Training program, designed via Music designed for children with Developmental Dyslexia (DD). Materials: In our study, participated 45 third-, and fourth-grade students with DD and a matched control group (n=45). Method: At the first phase of the protocol, children underwent a clinical assessment, including both electrophysiological, i.e. Event Related Potentials (ERPs) esp. P300 waveform, and psychometric tests, being conducted in Laboratory of Neuropsychology, at University of Thessaly, in Volos, Greece. Assessment’s results confirmed statistically significant lower performance for children with DD for all tests, compared to the typical readers of the control group. After evaluation, a subgroup of children with DD participated in a Rehabilitation Program including digitized musical auditory training activities. Results: The electrophysiological recordings after the intervention revealed shorter, almost similar, P300 latency values for children with DD to those of the control group, indicating the beneficial effects of the Intervention, thus enabling children develop reading skills and become successful readers. Discussion: Similar research data confirm the crucial role of neuropsychology in both diagnosis and treatment of common disorders, observed in children. Indeed, as for DD, there is growing evidence that brain activity dysfunction does occur, as it is confirmed by neuropsychological assessment and also musical auditory training may have remedial effects. Conclusions: The outcomes of the current study suggest that due to the neurobiological origin of DD, neuropsychology may give the means in both neuropsychological assessment and rehabilitation, enabling professionals to cope with cerebral dysfunction and recovery more efficiently.

Keywords: Music, Rehabilitation, Neuropsychology, Diagnosis, Dyslexia, ERPs

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