Diagnostic significance of language evaluation in early stages of Alzheimer’s disease
Recent studies using formal linguistic analysis of self-generated speech material have shown that an impairment of language is present in most patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) even at early stages. For the assessment of these disturbances in clinical routine, however, no appropriate methods are available. In this report we propose a rating scale for conversational ability in AD. This instrument was used in 32 patients with mild AD and in 14 patients with disorders which are difficult to distinguish from AD. An impairment of conversational ability was present in the majority of patients with AD but was rarely observed in non-Alzheimer cases. These results suggest that the assessment procedure may be useful for the early and differential diagnosis of AD.
KeywordsMini Mental State Examination Language Impairment Alzheimer Type Senile Dementia Spontaneous Speech
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