Quality of life, cognitive and behavioural impairment in people with motor neuron disease: a systematic review

Ratko Radakovic, Chelsea Radakovic, Sharon Abrahams, Zachary Simmons, Amy Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose: Motor neuron disease (MND) is a neurodegenerative disease, progressively impacting function and self-perceived quality of life (QoL). Up to 50% of people with MND can present with cognitive and behavioural impairment, with an associated increase in caregiver burden or strain. However, there has been no systematic exploration of the relationship between QoL and cognitive or behavioural impairment in MND. The aim was to determine if there is a relationship between QoL and cognitive/behavioural impairment in MND, while also supplementarily looking to determine the types of cognitive/behavioural and QoL measures utilised in these studies. Methods: A systematic search was performed across multiple databases (PsychINFO, Embase, Medline, AMED) for research published up to the date of February 22, 2023. Studies utilising quantitative methods of measuring QoL, cognitive/behavioural functioning/impairment were included. Findings examining relationships between QoL-cognitive/behavioural impairment were extracted and synthesised. Results: A total of 488 studies were identified, with 14 studies included in the systematic review. All 14 studies were observational (11 cross-sectional, 3 longitudinal). 13 studies utilised MND non-specific measures, particularly in relation to QoL and cognitive impairment. Of 8 studies measuring behavioural impairment 62.5% (N = 5) found either a lower QoL difference or association. Only 33.3% (N = 4) of 12 studies measuring cognitive impairment found a lower QoL difference or association. Conclusions: This systematic review shows that behavioural impairment may have an impact on QoL in MND. There is variability in types of assessments used to measure QoL and also cognitive/behavioural impairment, most of which are disease-non-specific. Recommendations for future research are to use comprehensive disease-specific, multidomain measures to further elucidate the QoL-cognitive/behavioural impairment relationship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalQuality of Life Research
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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