24 April 2023

Measuring cognition in areas outside of the Central Nervous System

CANTAB® cognitive assessments are often used to measure cognition in disorders of the Central Nervous System, but did you know that they are also used in research that don't involve the CNS? Here, two research teams explain how CANTAB is supporting their research in non-CNS areas.

Our CANTAB® battery of cognitive assessments is well-known for its effectiveness in identifying cognitive impairment in disorders of the Central Nervous System (CNS). Cognitive impairment is a major symptom for people with a range of CNS conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. People affected by CNS disorders such as multiple sclerosis and epilepsy can also experience an impact on their cognition. Therefore, there is a clear need for assessing cognitive function when conducting trials in these populations.

However, there are many other disorders and factors that can have an impact on cognition. Many of our customers are investigating conditions that do not affect the central nervous system. In fact, in our latest customer survey, our academic customers mentioned over 60 different indications that they use CANTAB in!

Here we celebrate some of those studies using CANTAB in non-CNS conditions. 

Investigating Cancer-Related Cognitive Impairment  

Alexandre Chan, Ding Quan (Quinton) Ng and team at UCI School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences/National University of Singapore/National Cancer Centre Singapore.

Quinton explains,

“It is known that cancer and its treatment can have a significant impact on cognitive function regardless of age, leading to difficulties with attention, memory, executive function, and processing speed. This can have a major impact on a patient’s quality of life and ability to function in daily life, including work, school, and personal relationships. Active studies in this field are developing interventions and support systems that can be routinely implemented to mitigate Cancer-Related Cognitive Impairment (CRCI) and improve the overall well-being of cancer patients.

We have used CANTAB to investigate the prevalence, consequences and mechanisms of CRCI before and after anticancer treatment among breast cancer patients and adolescent and young adult (15-39 years old) cancer patients. 

CANTAB provides a standardized, computerized assessment of cognitive domains affected in CRCI, allowing for a consistent and objective evaluation of cognitive function across participants. It is also relatively easy to use, thus requiring minimal training to our research coordinators. Finally, data is stored in a secure cloud, accessible only by approved researchers, and normative scores matched on age, gender and education level are provided to improve comparisons across the population.”







Quinton Ng 

Team members from University of Sinagpore 






Team members from University of California Irvine

Exploring the role of cognition in Sport Performance

Corinne Meyer – Doctoral student of occupational therapy at Northern Arizona University and Cognitive Performance Intern at the LA Galaxy

Leila Salhi – Doctoral student of occupational therapy at The Ohio State University and Cognitive Performance Intern at the LA Galaxy

Leila and Corinne explain,

“The Department of Cognitive Performance at the Los Angeles (LA) Galaxy in California, USA aims to better understand cognition within the sport of football.

CANTAB is one of three pieces within our collection of assessments that is used to provide us with cognitive data about our athletes, ranging from youth to professional levels. CANTAB’s cognitive tasks and outcome measures supply our team with a detailed insight into a player’s cognitive ability in the areas of cognition that we believe are critical in game-play, including decision making, risk taking, and working memory. Our overall goal is to use cognition as a key piece in understanding an athlete holistically as a current member of this team, and eventually during the player acquisition process. 

CANTAB was selected after careful consideration against other available cognitive assessments as it is best placed to help the department reach our overarching goal of an efficient and effective testing process for the players. We wanted a platform that could test the multiple components of cognition that we have identified as being most relevant to athletes. CANTAB was an attractive option for us due to the volume of research backing it, as well as the ease of administration on a transportable device and the ability to test multiple players at once. CANTAB has been an exciting addition to our cognitive battery.”







Corinne Meyer    







Leila Salhi

These are just two out of many examples of how CANTAB cognitive assessments can support a huge range of research areas. If you’re considering using cognitive assessments for your study, whether it is in a central nervous system disorder or in another therapeutic area, please get in touch.

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Louise Walker

Communications Manager

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