20 June 2019
CANTAB to enhance cognitive assessment in rare neurological diseases
We caught up with psychologist, Lara Draghi, to discuss the value of using CANTAB to assess cognitive function in patients with rare neurological disorders.
Can you tell us more about yourself?
I am a psychologist who researches the neuropsychological profile of children and adults with rare neurological diseases.
What is the main aim of your research?
Few studies have investigated the cognitive profile of subjects with rare neurological disorders. Furthermore, the literature is predominantly case reports, which include very few neuropsychological assessments of cognitive functions.
To address this research need, we explored the cognitive profile of adults with Polyglucosan Body Disease. We now want to extend this study design to other neurological rare diseases, such as Alexander Disease.
Can you tell us more about your study design?
Patients undergo to an extensive cognitive assessment on a touch-screen device. CANTAB is used to assess the cognitive domains of interest: memory, executive functions and psychomotor speed. Furthermore, the CANTAB Emotion Recognition Task is applied to investigate the decoding of six basic emotions in facial expressions. Finally, patients complete a self-report questionnaire to record their behavioural traits and the presence of altered mood (depression or anxiety traits).
Why did you choose CANTAB for your study?
Principally I decided to use CANTAB because it is a comprehensive and extensive neuropsychological battery. Secondly, CANTAB allows us to investigate reaction time, which is difficult to assess with traditional paper-based methods. I have found CANTAB to be a user-friendly and easy to administer software. Moreover, a significant strength of using CANTAB is the customer service team, who are always very kind, professional and efficient. For this reason, I have decided to continue using CANTAB in my future research.
Interested in using CANTAB to enhance your research?
Lara Draghi, Neurological Institute