A New Suite of Cognitive Tests for Assessing Frontotemporal Dementia

Award Date: 2018

Project Lead(s): Morris Freedman

Project Title: Object Alternation and Delayed Reaction Suite of Cognitive Tests: A Novel Clinical Application for Assessment of Frontotemporal Dementia

What is the issue?

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a group of brain disorders that affect the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. These brain regions are generally involved with personality, language, and behaviour. FTD is challenging to diagnose. An existing test, called object alternation, assesses brain health as people perform tasks using a physical apparatus. A computerized version may make it possible to diagnose brain damage earlier. Two additional tests, the delayed alternation and delayed response tests may further enhance diagnosis.

What did we do?

We created an easy-to-use suite of computerized tests to diagnose FTD. It included all three cognitive tests. We built them with the same logic as used in animal models. The suite runs as a stand-alone program that does not require users to download updates. We also developed printable score sheets and a data file that records test responses in a format that users can easily export to spreadsheets for further analysis.

What did we find?

We successfully created the suite of cognitive tests. They are now ready to be tested and compared to standard test methods in future research.