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The brief repeatable battery of neuropsychological tests (BRB-N) version a: update of Italian normative data from the Italian Neuroimaging Network Initiative (INNI).

Journal of Neurology 2023 December 8
BACKGROUND: Cognitive impairment is a common clinical manifestation in people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) and significantly impacts patients' quality life. Cognitive assessment is crucial for treatment decisions and understanding disease progression. Several neuropsychological batteries are used in MS, including the Brief Repeatable Battery of Neuropsychological Tests (BRB-N), Minimal Assessment of Cognitive Function in MS (MACFIMS), and Brief International Cognitive Assessment for MS (BICAMS). However, normative data for BRB-N version A in Italy are outdated.

OBJECTIVES: To revise and update normative data for the BRB-N version A in the Italian population.

METHODS: From the Italian Neuroimaging Network Initiative (INNI) database, we retrospectively selected 342 healthy subjects (172 males and 170 females) evaluated at four Italian INNI-affiliated sites (Milan, Siena, Rome, Naples). The subjects underwent neuropsychological assessment using the BRB-N version A. Regression-based method relying on scaled scores was used to calculate demographic correction procedures.

RESULTS: No significant differences were found in age, education, and sex distribution among the four sites (p ≥ 0.055). Regression analysis provided normative data to calculate demographically adjusted z-scores for each BRB-N version A test.

DISCUSSION: This study provides updated normative data for the BRB-N version A in the Italian population. The use of a regression-based method and scaled scores ensures consistency with other neuropsychological batteries commonly used in Italy, namely MACFIMS and BICAMS. The availability of updated normative data increases reliability of neuropsychological assessment of cognitive function in Italian PwMS and other clinical populations using BRB-N version A, providing valuable insights for both clinical and research applications.

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