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UCSF Screening Exam
This instrument is made up of individual subtests. For availabitliy for each subtest, click on the links:
Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II): Please visit this website:Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II)
Frontal Behavior Inventory-ALS (FBI-ALS): Please email the author for information about obtaining the instrument:  
Center for Neurologic Study-Lability Scale (CNS-LS) for Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA): Please visit this website for more information about the instrument: Center for Neurologic Study-Lability Scale (CNS-LS) for Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA)
ALS Cognitive Behavioral Screen (ALS-CBS)  
Please email the author for information about obtaining the instrument: Susan Whoolley-Levine, PhD.  
Supplemental: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Short Description of Instrument

Construct measured: The UCSF Screen is a composite of several individual tests, many of which are included separately in the CDE list. The utility of this battery is that it combines what the author believes are the most important clinical aspects of ALS cognitive behavior change: Cognitive and behavioral changes, depression level, and presence of pseudobulbar affect.

Generic vs. disease specific: Specific to both ALS and FTD dementia, tailored to the overlap syndrome of ALS-FTD.

Strengths: This battery of measures was selected to broadly screen for the components of cognitive and behavioral change in ALS, and to simultaneously identify how pseudobulbar affect and depression may complicate the syndrome. The written fluency test measures a key feature of cognitive impairment in ALS, and is created specifically to control for motor and bulbar weakness. The FBI-ALS was created specifically to remove the effects of MND changes when measuring behavior and personality change. The depression and PBA measures are generic for those conditions, and are important to include because these syndromes can be confused with neurologically-based cognitive change and behavioral change. The ALS-CBS is included to provide a rapid screen of more broad cognitive deficits seen in ALS. Each of the tests is described below.

Weaknesses: The battery is more time consuming than a global, self report measure. No non-English translations are yet available.


The cognitive section results in a total score out of a possible 20 points. Scores are based both on accuracy and errors-made, the latter of which result in deduction of points towards the total score. The behavioral section is a sum of the Likert scale items endorsed.

Beck Depression Inventory-II References:  
Key References:
Beck AT, Steer RA, Brown GK. Manual for The Beck Depression Inventory Second Edition (BDI-II). San Antonio: Psychological Corporation; 1996.
Beck AT, Steer RA, Ball R, Ranieri W. Comparison of Beck Depression Inventories -IA and -II in psychiatric outpatients. J Pers Assess. 1996;67(3):588-597.
Steer RA, Ball R, Ranieri WF, Beck AT. Dimensions of the Beck Depression Inventory-II in clinically depressed outpatients. J Clin Psychol. 1999;55(1):117-128.
Storch EA, Roberti JW, Roth DA. Factor structure, concurrent validity, and internal consistency of the Beck Depression Inventory-Second Edition in a sample of college students. Depress Anxiety. 2004;19(3):187-189.
ALS References:  
Taylor L, Wicks P, Leigh PN, Goldstein LH. Prevalence of depression in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other motor disorders. Eur J Neurol. 2010;17(8):1047-1053.
Rabkin JG, Albert SM, Del Bene ML, O'Sullivan I, Tider T, Rowland LP, Mitsumoto H. Prevalence of depressive disorders and change over time in late-stage ALS. Neurology. 2005;65(1):62-67.
Trail M, Nelson ND, Van JN, Appel SH, Lai EC. A study comparing patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and their caregivers on measures of quality of life, depression, and their attitudes toward treatment options. J Neurol Sci. 2003;209(1-2):79-85.  
Frontal Behavior Inventory-ALS (FBI-ALS) References:
Key Reference:
Murphy J, Ahmed F, Lomen-Hoerth C. The UCSF screening exam effectively screens cognitive and behavioral impairment in patients with ALS. Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener. 2015;16(1-2):24-30.  
Additional References:
Kertesz A, Davidson W, Fox H. Frontal behavioral inventory: diagnostic criteria for frontal lobe dementia. Can J Neurol Sci. 1997;24(1):29-36.  
Kertesz A. (1998). The quantification of behavior in frontal lobe dementia. In: Kertesz A & Munoz DG. (Eds.). Pick's Disease and Pick Complex (pp. 47-67). New York: Wiley & Sons, Inc.  
Kertesz A, Nadkarni N, Davidson W, Thomas AW. The Frontal Behavioral Inventory in the differential diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia. J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2000;6(4):460-468.  
Kertesz A, Davidson W, McCabe P, Munoz D. Behavioral quantitation is more sensitive than cognitive testing in frontotemporal dementia. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2003;17(4):223-229.  
Marczinski CA, Davidson W, Kertesz A. A longitudinal study of behavior in frontotemporal dementia and primary progressive aphasia. Cogn Behav Neurol. 2004;17(4):185-190.  
Center for Neurologic Study-Lability Scale (CNS-LS) for Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA) References:  
Key Reference:
Moore SR, Gresham LS, Bromberg MB, Kasarkis EJ, Smith RA. A self report measure of affective lability. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1997;63(1):89-93.  
Additional Reference:
Brooks BR, Thisted RA, Appel SH, Bradley WG, Olney RK, Berg JE, Pope LE, Smith RA; AVP-923 ALS Study Group. Treatment of pseudobulbar affect in ALS with dextromethorphan/quinidine: a randomized trial. Neurology. 2004;63(8):1364-1370.
ALS Cognitive Behavioral Screen (ALS-CBS) References:  
Key Reference:
Woolley, SC, York, MK, Moore, DH, Strutt, AM, Murphy, J, Schulz, PE, Katz, JS. Detecting frontotemporal dysfunction in ALS: Utility of the ALS Cognitive Behavioral Screen (ALS-CBS™). Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis 2010;11(3): 303-311.  
Additional Reference:
Rush, B, Woolley, SC, Boylan, K. Diagnostic Validity of the ALS Cognitive Behavioral Screen. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis 2010;11(Supp 1):33. Platform Presentation, 21st Int'l Symposium on ALS/MND, Orlando, FL.


Document last updated April 2020