Researchers adapt cognitive assessment for people with intellectual disability

February 24, 2020

WHAT: The NIH Toolbox Cognitive Battery--an assessment of cognitive functioning for adults and children participating in neuroscience research--can be adapted to people with intellectual disabilities by modifying some test components and making accommodations for the test-takers' disabilities, according to researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health. The adaptations ensure that the battery can be used to assess the cognitive ability of people with intellectual disabilities who have a mental age of 5 years and above, providing objective measures that could be used in a wide variety of studies.

The research team, led by David Hessl, Ph.D., of the University of California Davis Medical Center, published their findings in Neurology. The work was funded by NIH's Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, as well as the Administration for Community Living.

The battery is administered on a computer tablet and measures memory, vocabulary, reading and executive functioning, which includes skills such as the ability to shift from one thought to another, pay attention and control impulses. The researchers adapted the battery by reducing the complexity of the instructions and including developmentally appropriate starting points. They also developed a structured manual to guide test administrators.

The researchers validated the battery and its modifications by assessing 242 people ages 6 through 25 with fragile X syndrome, Down syndrome or other disabilities. They found that the battery produced reliable and valid results for those with a mental age of 5 years and above. The authors called for additional research to adapt the battery to people with lower mental ages and to older adults with intellectual disability who may be experiencing cognitive decline or dementia.

WHO: Alice Kau, Ph.D., of the NICHD Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Branch is available for comment.

ARTICLE: Shields, R et al. Validation of the NIH Toolbox Cognitive Battery in intellectual disability. Neurology. 2020. http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000009131.
-end-
About the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD): NICHD leads research and training to understand human development, improve reproductive health, enhance the lives of children and adolescents, and optimize abilities for all. For more information, visit https://www.nichd.nih.gov.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit https://www.nih.gov.

NIH/Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Related Intellectual Disability Articles from Brightsurf:

Novel Drosophila-based disease model to study human intellectual disability syndrome
The researchers from the TalTech molecular neurobiology laboratory headed by professor T├Ánis Timmusk used the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster to develop a novel disease model for Pitt-Hopkins syndrome (PTHS).

Mutations linked to intellectual disability point to overly active ion channe
Two mutations identified in individuals with developmental and epileptic brain disease can be traced back to the same ion channel.

Five language outcome measures evaluated for intellectual disabilities studies
Expressive language sampling yielded five language-related outcome measures that may be useful for treatment studies in intellectual disabilities, especially fragile X syndrome.

Researchers adapt cognitive assessment for people with intellectual disability
The NIH Toolbox Cognitive Battery -- an assessment of cognitive functioning for adults and children participating in neuroscience research -- can be adapted to people with intellectual disabilities by modifying some test components and making accommodations for the test-takers' disabilities, according to researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Validating Toolbox to evaluate cognitive processing in people with intellectual disability
Researchers at the UC Davis MIND Institute have updated and validated a series of tests in the NIH Toolbox Cognitive Battery.

How gene mutation causes autism and intellectual disability
Scientists have discovered why a specific genetic mutation causes intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder in children.

IQSEC1 gene mutations cause new intellectual disability syndrome
Researchers identify gene causing intellectual disability syndrome that is common in countries where consanguineous marriages are prevalent.

Does being younger than classmates increase likelihood of childhood depression, ADHD, intellectual disability
This observational study included 1 million children in the United Kingdom and looked at the association between children who are younger than their classmates and the likelihood of depression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and intellectual disability.

Early maternal anemia tied to intellectual disability, ADHD and autism
The timing of anemia -- a common condition in late pregnancy -- can make a big difference for the developing fetus, according to research at Karolinska Institutet published in JAMA Psychiatry.

Genetic defect causing intellectual disability discovered by Sussex scientists
Researchers have discovered a new genetic defect which causes a form of intellectual disability; a finding which will improve global screening programs.

Read More: Intellectual Disability News and Intellectual Disability Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.