HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Orlando, USA or Virtually from your home or work.

6th Edition of International Conference on Neurology and Brain Disorders

October 24 -26, 2022

October 24 -26, 2022 | Orlando, Florida, USA
INBC 2022

Luis A Sierra

Speaker at Neurology and Brain Disorders 2022 - Luis A Sierra
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, United States
Title : A Mild Cognitive Impairment Diagnostic Tool In Comparison To The Unified Huntington’s Disease Rating Scale: Cognitive Battery


Background: A diagnosis of manifest Huntington’s disease (HD) is based primarily on motor symptoms, but early cognitive decline is common in the pre-manifest HD period (preHD). Early symptom detection in HD has important implications for monitoring both disease progression and the effects of disease-modifying treatment trials. Identifying the assessments with the highest sensitivity for capturing early cognitive changes in preHD, therefore, remains a priority. 

Objectives: The Loewenstein Acevedo Scales of Semantic Interference and Learning (LASSI-L) is a novel test that captures simultaneous deficits in executive functioning, processing speed, and memory retrieval. Our goals were to determine whether the LASSI-L could detect cognitive deficits in preHD and compare this to the Unified Huntington’s Disease Rating Scale (UHDRS): Cognitive Battery.

Methods: We administered the LASSI-L to 14 preHD participants and 12 healthy controls, matched for age, sex, and education, recruited from the Huntington’s Disease Society of America Center of Excellence at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). As a comparison, we administered the UHDRS cognitive battery which includes the Stroop, Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT), and Category Fluency (Animals). 

Results:  6 of 7 sections on the LASSI-L captured significant group differences: proactive semantic interference (PSI) (p < 0.001), failure to recover from PSI (frPSI) (p = 0.035), retroactive semantic interference (RSI) (p = 0.020), delayed recall (p < 0.001), B1 cued recall intrusions (p = 0.007), and B2 cued recall intrusions (p = 0.033). Using (FDR) < 0.05, PSI, RSI, delayed recall, and B1 cued recall intrusions remained significant. In comparison, from the UHDRS cognitive battery only the three sections of the Stoop were significant. Stroop Word Reading (p < 0.001), Stroop Color Naming (p = 0.005), and Stroop Interference (p = 0.041). Using (FDR) < 0.05, only Word Reading and Color Naming remained significant. 

Conclusions: The LASSI-L is a time-efficient and sensitive task that captures early cognitive decline in pre-manifest HD and outperforms several commonly used neuropsychological tests. These results show that the LASSI-L would be a useful addition to current protocols in preHD-related studies.

What will audience learn from your presentation?

  • The audience will learn that although Huntington’s disease is primarily thought of as a motor manifest disease, cognitive decline precedes these symptoms and should be focused on as an early biomarker for manifestation.
  • Although the UHDRS cognitive battery has been the standard since 1996, it would be important to update the battery with paradigms that significantly capture deficits not only initially, but over time.
  • Proactive Semantic Interference seems to be a predominant marker in deficits of cognition with pre-manifest HD.
  • Lastly, the LASSI-L is a cost effective, time-efficient, and sensitive assessment that would be practical to use in a clinic setting.


Luis A. Sierra studied clinical psychology at Barry University, Miami Shores, and graduated with a MS in 2020. While obtaining his MS, he worked as a psychometrist at the University of Miami’s Center for Cognitive Neuroscience and Aging under Dr. David Loewenstein. He then joined the research group of Dr. Samuel Frank and Dr. Daniel Press at BIDMC’s Program to Advance Innovative Neurodegenerative Therapies as a Clinical Trials Specialist for Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease. His next career goal is to obtain a Ph.D. in Neuropsychology.