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November 2021

Pattern of semantic memory impairment in dementia of Alzheimer's type

Author(s): Chertkow, H., Templeman, F. D.

Journal/Book: Brain Cognition. 2000; 43: 525 B St, Ste 1900, San Diego, CA 92101-4495, USA. Academic Press Inc. 200-205.

Abstract: The specific pattern of semantic memory impairment in patients with dementia of Alzheimer's type (DAT) remains unclear. Specifically, the presence of a category-specific deficit for biological concepts (reflected in anomia for these concepts) has been questioned. We studied 9 DAT patients using a semantic association judgement test in which they had to decide which of the two given words was most like a target word (e.g., lamb goat, sheep). The 150 target words were drawn from 6 categories: animals, clothing and furniture, fruits and vegetables, tools, action verbs, and abstract nouns. Age- and education-matched control subjects performance equivalently (between 86 and 90% correct) in all categories. Compared to control subjects, DAT patients made significantly more errors in abstract and biological nouns, but not in verbs and man-made artifacts. This pattern of semantic memory impair ment-a sparing of verbs and a selective deficit of nouns in the biological category-has been documented in patients with temporal lobe damage, suggesting a critical dysfunction in the temporal lobes of DAT.

Note: Article Fung TD, Sir Mortimer B Davis Jewish Hosp, Lady Davis Inst Med Res, Montreal, PQ H3T 1E2, CANADA


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