Cognitive deterioration in old age and in the course of dementia

  • W. D. Oswald
  • K. Tritt
Conference paper
Part of the Key Topics in Brain Research book series (KEYTOPICS)


Cognitive deterioration in old age in the course of dementia can be studied by a variety of psychometric assessment scales, the recent developments of which are briefly summarized. They concern performance, fluid functions, memory performance, sensoric memory and other items that show different changes in normal and pathological aging. In dementia, progressive deterioration of crystallized functions contribute to the patient’s loss in quality of life. In demented individuals, difficulties in processing, retrieval and speed are predominant. In a series of 200 patients with Alzheimer disease and multi-infarct dementia, no significant differences with regard to various basic cognitive functions were found and, from the psychometric point of view, these two types cannot be distinguished. Diagnosis of dementia can be substantiated by the use of recently developed highly sensitive instruments that may substantiate the suspected clinical diagnosis of organic brain syndromes.


Sensoric Memory Organic Brain Syndrome Global Deterioration Scale Demented Individual Fluid Function 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. D. Oswald
    • 1
  • K. Tritt
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut of PsychologyUniversity of Erlangen-NürnbergFederal Republic of Germany

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