Information regarding PASS scale; MGH FTD Unit
- Background, Rationale, and Data
The Progressive Aphasia Symptom Severity (PASS) scale was developed by Daisy Sapolsky and Brad
Dickerson in conjunction with collaborators Paige Nalipinski, David Caplan, Sandra Weintraub, and
Marsel Mesulam. This scale is meant to provide a clinically grounded method for rating the degree
of impairment in a variety of specific domains of language. We have demonstrated that the severity
of impairment in specific domains of language in PPA relates to the location and severity of brain
atrophy (shrinkage) in regions important for those functions. This will likely be useful in
diagnosis of specific PPA subtypes. We are working now to determine whether a) this scale can be
reliably used by other investigators and b) it is useful in tracking progression over time. If so,
then this scale may be useful in clinical trials of various interventions aiming to maintain
function in PPA.
The original scientific paper describing the first three domains of the PASS can be read here.
Additional papers have since been published reviewing the use of the PASS in monitoring symptoms of PPA:
Sapolsky D, Domoto-Reilly K, Dickerson BC. Use of the Progressive Aphasia Severity Scale (PASS) in monitoring speech and language status in PPA. Aphasiology. 2014 Jan 1;28(8-9):993-1003.
Dickerson BC. Quantitating Severity and Progression in Primary Progressive Aphasia. J Mol Neurosci. 2011 May 15. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 21573887
Sapolsky D, Domoto-Reilly K, Negreira A, Brickhouse M, McGinnis S, Dickerson BC. Monitoring progression of primary progressive aphasia: Current approaches and future directions. Neurodegenerative Disease Management 2011 1(1): 43-55.
The PASS Scale and its Use
The current version of the scale (5.1) is available upon request.
A questionnaire has been developed to give to patients/family members to enable them to rate the patient's symptoms in each domain. Please contact us if you would like these and related materials.
Further information about the scale will be forthcoming on this website. We are developing a number of collaborative projects to investigate the multi-center reliability of the scale; please let us know if you are interested in participating in such a project.
For additional information, contact us at by email at MGHFTDUnit@partners.org or by telephone at 617-726-5571 (Megan Quimby, MS, firstname.lastname@example.org), or email Brad Dickerson (email@example.com).