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Measurement Characteristics and Clinical Utility of the International Cooperative Ataxia Rating Scale in Individuals With Hereditary Ataxias

      The International Cooperative Ataxia Rating Scale (ICARS), developed by the Ataxia Neuropharmacology Committee of the World Federation of Neurology,1 can be used to quantify the level of impairment related to hereditary ataxias, monitor response to pharmacological intervention, and plan clinical trials. The test can be completed in 15 to 30 minutes and is typically administered by a physician or physical therapist. Total scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores representing greater impairment. A score of 0 represents normal, whereas a score of 100 represents maximum impairment. The scale consists of 19 items with 4 subscales including posture and gait disturbances (34 points), kinetic function (52 points), speech disorder (8 points), and oculomotor disorders (6 points). The ICARS has demonstrated reliability and validity in individuals with spinocerebellar disease,2 Friedreich ataxia,3 multisystem atrophy,4 and chronic alcholism.5
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