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Rethinking functional outcome measures: the development of an upper limb test to assess basal ganglia dysfunction

Clinch, Susanne P., Busse, Monica, Lelos, Mariah J. and Rosser, Anne E. 2018. Rethinking functional outcome measures: the development of an upper limb test to assess basal ganglia dysfunction. Frontiers in Neuroscience 12 , 366. 10.3389/fnins.2018.00366

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The basal ganglia is implicated in a wide range of motor, cognitive and behavioural activities required for normal function. This region is predominantly affected in Huntington’s disease (HD), meaning that functional ability progressively worsens. However, functional outcome measures for HD, particularly those for the upper limb, are limited meaning there is an imperative for well-defined, quantitative measures. Here we describe the development and evaluation of the Moneybox test (MBT). This novel, functional upper limb assessment was developed in accordance with translational neuroscience and physiological principles for people with a broad disease manifestation, such as HD. Participants with HD (n=64) and healthy controls (n=21) performed the MBT, which required subjects to transfer tokens into a container in order of size (Baseline Transfer), value (Complex Transfer) with and without reciting the alphabet (Dual Transfer). Disease specific measures of motor, cognition, behaviour and function were collected. HD patients were grouped into disease stage, from which, discriminative and convergent validity was assessed using Analysis of Variance and Pearson’s correlation respectively. Manifest HD participants were slower than pre-manifest and control participants, and achieved significantly lower MBT total scores. Performance in the Complex Transfer and Dual Transfer tasks were significantly different between pre-manifest and stage 1 HD. All MBT performance variables significantly correlated with routinely used measures of motor, cognition, behaviour and function. The MBT provides a valid, sensitive and affordable functional outcome measure. Unlike current assessments, MBT performance significantly distinguished the subtle differences between the earliest disease stages of HD, which are the populations typically targeted in clinical trials.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Frontiers Media
ISSN: 1662-4548
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 14 May 2018
Date of Acceptance: 11 May 2018
Last Modified: 28 Jan 2020 03:38

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