The Indian Council of Medical Research – Neurocognitive Tool Box (ICMR-NCTB) was developed to meet demands for a standardized set of cognitive tests that is culturally appropriate and available in different languages for our country. The ICMR-NCTB is made available for clinical and research purposes to diagnose dementia. The ICMR-NCTB has been standardized across 5 languages (Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam). It yields scores across various cognitive domains including attention and executive function, episodic memory, language, visuospatial ability, unilateral spatial neglect, and behavioral scales.
The goal of the project was to develop a comprehensive cognitive, behavioural and functional test battery for diagnosing MCI and dementia in five different Indian languages: Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam.
The ICMR-NCTB is a product of a multicentric study supported by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Six centres across India collaborated - Hyderabad, Delhi, Kolkata, Trivandrum, Bangalore and Belgaum. A multidisciplinary group of neurologists, neuropsychologists, speech and language pathologists and experts from related fields worked together. The collaborating institutions included All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) New Delhi from the North; Apollo Hospitals, Kolkata from the East; Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) Hyderabad, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) Bangalore, Manipal Hospital Bangalore, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Belgaum, and Sri Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), Trivandrum from three different states in Southern India. The main languages spoken in these areas include: Hindi in Delhi, Bengali in Kolkata, Hindi and Telugu in Hyderabad, Kannada in Bangalore and Belgaum, and Malayalam in Trivandrum.
The ICMR-NCTB is designed to provide relevant information for general clinical and neuropsychological evaluations. The battery may also be used for research purpose. As a clinical assessment tool, the ICMR-NCTB will provide measures of multiple cognitive functions including memory, visuospatial ability, language and executive functions. The battery will be useful for early identification of MCI and dementia. The battery will also be valuable for research. The administration of the battery would require appropriate skill and experience. The battery can be administered by clinicians and researchers under the supervision of a trained psychologist.