NINDS CDE Notice of Copyright
Edinburgh Cognitive Behavioral ALS Screen (ECAS)
Please email the author for information about obtaining the instrument: s.abrahams@ed.ac.uk
Core: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • One of the following three Core cognitive/behavioral screening tools should be used based on study requirements:
    • Abrahams Written Verbal Fluency
    • ALS Cognitive Behavioral Screen (ALS-CBS)
    • Edinburgh Cognitive and Behavioural Scale
Supplemental: Cerebral Palsy (CP)
Short Description of Instrument
The Edinburgh Cognitive and Behavioral ALS Screen (ECAS) (Abrahams, et al., 2014) is a brief (15–20 minute) assessment of specific cognitive and behavioral changes that is designed to identify people living with ALS from those living with other Motor Neuron Diseases (MND). The ECAS is useful in that it can measure changes in thinking, language, memory, and behavior in people with ALS while also measuring for these changes in other neurological diseases.
Niven et al. (2015) validated the ECAS ALS Specific domains (fluency, executive function and social cognition, language), and ECAS ALS Non-specific domains (memory, visuospatial function) against five domains of the gold standard of extensive neuropsychological assessments (verbal fluency, executive function, language, memory and visuospatial function) and showed “that the ECAS is a screening tool with high sensitivity and specificity to impairment characteristics of ALS.” (Niven et al., 2015).
A stopwatch and calculator are recommended to complete this test.
ALS Specific functions consist of the total score (range: 0– 100) of Executive Function (score range: 0–48); Language (score range: 0–28); and Verbal Fluency (score range: 0–24). ALS Non-Specific functions consist of a total score (range: 0–36) of Memory (score range: 0–24) and Visuospatial Functions (score range: 0–12). The ECAS total score is the combined score of ALS Specific and ALS Non- Specific scores. The cut-off score is based on 2 SD from the mean. A score that is at or below this value indicates impairment (Abrahams et al., 2014).
Abrahams S, Newton J, Niven E, Foley J, Bak TH. Screening for cognition and behaviour changes in ALS. Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener. 2014;15(1-2):9–14.
Niven E, Newton J, Foley J, Colville S, Swingler R, Chandran S, Bak TH, Abrahams S. Validation of the Edinburgh Cognitive and Behavioural Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Screen (ECAS): A cognitive tool for motor disorders. Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener. 2015;16(3-4):172–179.
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