Lothian assessment for screening cognition in aphasia (LASCA): A new non verbal assessment of cognition.
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Cognitive dysfunction occurs in more than half of stroke survivors and can have farreaching consequences for functioning in daily life. At present, there are no well established assessments to evaluate the cognitive functioning of individuals with poststroke aphasia. Most assessments currently used in clinical practice have limitations such as dependence on language, need of specialist knowledge, low sensitivity and or specificity and lengthy administration time. Therefore a working party of Speech and Language Therapists, Clinical Neuropsychologists and Occupational Therapists in Lothian, Scotland devised a set of cognitive test materials named the Lothian Assessment for Screening of Cognition in Aphasia (LASCA) in an attempt to assess cognition in aphasic patients post stroke. This study aims to evaluate the efficacy of the LASCA as a non verbal assessment of cognition by comparing it to the widely used ACE-R. A battery of tests (Spot the word, LASCA, ACE-R, Brixton spatial anticipation test and the BUTT non verbal reasoning test) was administered to 35 control participants ( age range = 56-92 years, mean = 68.77 years SD= 7.492) recruited from across Lothian . Moderate correlations were found between the visual functioning subtests between the ACE-R and the LASCA (rho (33) = .351; p < .05) and total performance scores on ACE-R and the LASCA (rho (33) = .614, p< 0.01). A moderate correlation was also found to exist between the Brixton test and the LASCA executive functioning subtest (rho (33) = .389, p <. 05). These findings suggest that there is adequate convergent validity between the LASCA and the widely used ACE-R thus concluding that the LASCA may be considered an appropriate non verbal assessment for screening cognition in post stroke aphasic patients.