Considerations for Clinical Neuropsychological Evaluation in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Susan C. Woolley, Beth K. Rush

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The clinical neuropsychologist has the opportunity to be uniquely involved in the evaluation and treatment of individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We review the current literature that defines cognitive and behavioral symptoms in ALS, including current knowledge of the neuropathological and genetic underpinning for these symptoms. There are unique considerations for clinical neuropsychological evaluation and clinical research in ALS and we highlight these in this review. Specifically, we shed light on special factors that contribute to our understanding of cognitive and behavioral impairment in ALS, including co-morbid symptoms, differential diagnosis, and considerations for longitudinal tracking of phenotypes. We discuss the rationale for proposing a specific approach to such as cognitive screening, test selection, response modality consideration, and test-retest intervals. With this didactic overview, the clinical neuropsychologist has the potential to learn more about the heterogeneous presentation of motor and neuropsychological symptoms in ALS. Furthermore, the reader has the opportunity to understand what it takes to develop a valid assessment approach particularly when the phenotype of ALS remains undefined in some regards. This clinical practice review sets the stage for the clinical neuropsychologist to further contribute to our clinical and scientific understanding of ALS and cognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)906-916
Number of pages11
JournalArchives of Clinical Neuropsychology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017


  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • neuropsychological assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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