Longitudinal Cognitive Decline in Patients With Alzheimer's Disease

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Progressive cognitive impairment is a defining feature of the dementia of Alzheimer's disease (AD), yet disagreement exists over which abilities decline most precipitously and which cognitive tests are most sensitive. In this study, 51 AD patients in the early to middle stages of illness and 22 age-matched normal controls were administered a battery of neu ropsychological tests at 6-month intervals over a 2-year period. While the performance of the normal controls remained stable over the 2 years, the AD patients displayed progressive decline on all tests. The greatest declines occurred on tests requiring lexical/semantic processing (Boston Naming Test) and comprehension of syntactic relationships (Token Test). Performance on visuospatial tests (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised Block Design, Benton Visual Retention Test, Spatial Delayed Recognition Span Test) declined less rapidly. The findings support previous reports that language impairment may be central to the dementia of AD, and that confrontation naming is particularly sensitive to decline in this illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-97
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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