The Philadelphia Brief Assessment of Cognition (PBAC): A validated screening measure for dementia

David J. Libon, Katya Rascovsky, Rachel G. Gross, Matthew T. White, Sharon X. Xie, Michael Dreyfuss, Ashley Boller, Lauren Massimo, Peachie Moore, Jessica Kitain, H. Branch Coslett, Anjan Chatterjee, Murray Grossman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The Philadelphia Brief Assessment of the Cognition (PBAC) is a brief dementia-screening instrument. The PBAC assesses five cognitive domains: working memory/executive control; lexical retrieval/language; visuospatial/ visuoconstructional operations; verbal/visual episodic memory; and behavior/social comportment. A revised version of the PBAC was administered to 198 participants including patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) (n=46) and four groups of patients with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) syndromes: behavioral-variant FTD (bvFTD; n=65), semantic-variant primary progressive aphasia (PPA) (svPPA; n=22), non-fluent/agrammatic-variant PPA (nfaPPA; n=23), and corticobasal syndrome (CBS; n=42), and a group of normal controls (n=15). The total PBAC score was highly correlated with the MMSE. The criterion validity of the PBAC was assessed relative to standard neuropsychological test performance. Using standard neuropsychological test performance as a criterion, the total PBAC score accurately identified the presence and severity of dementia. Intra-class correlations between PBAC subscales and standard neuropsychological tests were highly significant. PBAC subscales demonstrated good clinical utility in distinguishing AD and FTD subtypes using receiver operating characteristic analysis and standard diagnostic performance statistics to determine optimal subscale cut scores. The PBAC is a valid tool and able to assesses differential patterns neuropsychological/behavioral impairment in a broad range of neurodegenerative conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1314-1330
Number of pages17
JournalClinical Neuropsychologist
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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