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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Highlights From the Rehabilitation Measures Database
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