INECO Frontal Screening (IFS): a brief, sensitive, and specific tool to assess executive functions in dementia

Teresa Torralva*, Mariáa Roca, Ezequiel Gleichgerrcht, Pablo López, Facundo Manes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

206 Citations (Scopus)


Although several brief sensitive screening tools are available to detect cognitive dysfunction, few have been developed to quickly assess executive functioning (EF) per se. We designed a new brief tool to evaluate EF in neurodegenerative diseases. Patients with an established diagnosis of behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD; n = 22), Alzheimer disease (AD; n = 25), and controls (n = 26) were assessed with a cognitive screening test, the INECO Frontal Screening (IFS), and EF tests. Clinical Dementia Rating Scale (CDR) scores were obtained for all patients. Internal consistency of the IFS was very good (Cronbach's alpha = .80). IFS total (out of 30 points) was 27.4 (SD = 1.6) for controls, 15.6 (SD = 4.2) for bvFTD, and 20.1 (SD = 4.7) for AD. Using a cutoff of 25 points, sensitivity of the IFS was 96.2%, and specificity 91.5% in differentiating controls from patients with dementia. The IFS correlated significantly with the CDR and executive tasks. The IFS total discriminated controls from demented patients, and bvFTD from AD. IFS is a brief, sensitive, and specific tool for the detection of executive dysfunction associated with neurodegenerative diseases. The IFS may be helpful in the differential diagnosis of FTD and AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)777-786
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Erratum can be found in Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, Volume 16(5), 737,


  • neuropsychology
  • cognition
  • dysexecution
  • frontotemporal dementia
  • Alzheimer disease
  • differential diagnosis


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