A Linguistic Profile of Narrative Speech in Early and Late-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease
Objective. Alzheimer’s Dementia is defined as multiple impairments in cognitive functions and language impairment is one of the observed problems in this disease. In order to analyse these problems, narrative speech transcriptions of Turkish patients with early and late-onset Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and an age/education-matched control group were examined.
Materials & Methods. By using different language tests, the sentence production of Turkish patients with early (n: 23) and late-onset (n: 39) was examined and the results were compared within groups and within language tests. Our aim was to reveal the differences in sentence processing of Turkish Alzheimer patients.
Results. According to the results, Turkish Alzheimer patients use short and simple sentences composed of fewer words in their speech. It was determined that these patients performed better in Picnic Picture Description test, which is thought to be easy to describe. In Cookie Theft Picture Description test, which is a complex one, and in the Subject-based Narration test, it was found that the speech amounts of AD patients were less. It was revealed that early-onset AD patients used shorter sentences including fewer words compared to late-onset AD patients.
Conclusion. In the light of the data obtained, it can be said that AD patients have different sentence processing than normal individuals because of the problems in the language and memory areas of the disease. The fact that sentence processing is different means that these patients do not prefer the types of sentences that normal individuals prefer in their speeches, and use less words and simpler sentences.
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