Theses and Capstone Projects

Year of Award



College of Education & Allied Health

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Communication Disorders and Deaf Education

First Advisor

Gale B. Rice

Second Advisor

Lynne Shields

Third Advisor

Carmen Russell


Lou Gehrig's Disease, ALS, cognitive, communication, verbal, executive function


The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between individual- and family-rated perceptual measures of frontal lobe function and objective measures of executive function in individuals with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Participants and family members completed the Frontal Systems Behavior Scale (FrSBE) to assess perception of deficits. Participants were given verbal fluency (VF) measures (semantic and phonemic), the Modified Wisconsin Card Sort Test (mWCST), the Stroop Color Word Test (SCWT), and the Frontal Systems Behavior Scale (FrSBE) to objectively assess executive function. A demographic questionnaire and a depression inventory were included to determine other factors related to test performance. Based on these measures, one participant fell at or below the 5th percentile on two tests of executive function which is indicative of cognitive impairment (ALSci) as defined by Lomen-Hoerth (2010). Other participants showed varied results across the measures. Of the measures examined, semantic and phonemic verbal fluency were most associated with abnormal scores. Data analysis indicated a strong positive correlation between the Executive Function Composite Score on the Modified Wisconsin Card Sort Test and the Total Raw Score on the Patient Frontal Systems Behavior Scale.

Document Type

Restricted Thesis


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