Applicability of the ACE-III and RBANS Cognitive Tests for the Detection of Alcohol-Related Brain Damage

Frontiers in Psychology 10:496298 (2019)
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Abstract

Background and aims: Recent investigations have highlighted the value of neuropsychological testing for the assessment and screening of Alcohol-Related Brain Damage. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the suitability of the Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination and the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status for this purpose. Methods: Comparing 28 participants with ARBD and 30 alcohol-dependent participants without ARBD we calculated Area Under the Curve statistics, sensitivity and specificity values, base-rate adjusted predictive values, and likelihood ratios for both tests. Results: High levels of screening accuracy were found for the total scores of both the ACE-III and RBANS at multiple cut-off points. Removing participants with a history of polysubstance from the samples improved the diagnostic capabilities of the RBANS substantially, while only minor improvements to the ACE-III’s accuracy were observed. Conclusions: Overall, both the ACE-III and RBANS are suitable tools for ARBD screening within an alcohol-dependent population, though the RBANS is the superior of the two. Clinicians using these tools for ARBD screening should be cautious of false-positive outcomes and should therefore combine them with other assessment methods and more detailed neuropsychological testing before reaching diagnostic decisions.

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