Deficits in language production like word finding difficulty, and lexical-sematic impairment have been documented early in the course of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). According to the authors, the current language assessment methods used in AD patients do not account for macrolinguistic and communication deficits. As macrolinguistic abilities reflect discourse processing skills, this paper analyses discourse production in early AD and identifies qualitative markers of macrolinguistic decline. The authors recruited 17 early AD patients and 17 healthy volunteers for a complete neuropsychological and language assessment. They compared the inter-group and correlated the intra-group findings. The results suggested that AD patients presented with decline in informativeness and global coherence which correlated with decline in their memory and executive functioning. The authors observe that the qualitative signs for discourse production differ in AD versus typical ageing and a macrolinguistic assessment tool is useful to evaluate communication and cognition impairment in early AD. They conclude that information units and modalising discourse were the two main features of linguistic and extralinguistic decline in their cohort of patients with early AD.

Discourse macrolinguistic impairment as a marker of linguistic and extralinguistic decline in early Alzheimer’s disease.
Pistono A, Jucla M, Bezy C, et al.
Share This
Gauri Mankekar

Department of Otolaryngology-Head Neck Surgery, Louisiana State University Shreveport, Louisiana, USA.

View Full Profile