Fluency deficits in patients with Alzheimer's disease and frontal lobe lesions

Louise Helen Phillips, S DellaSala, C Trivelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Fluency tests are widely used in clinical settings to assess cognitive function. Fluency deficits in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) are generally attributed to deteriorated language storage. In contrast, patients with lesions to the frontal lobes (FL) of the brain are thought to have poor fluency due to executive deficits of retrieval. This study examined the relationships between fluency performance and cognitive measures of language and executive function in both AD and FL patients. In both groups, fluency performance related to measures of language Comprehension and executive control of attention. However, in AD patients, fluency deficits were most closely associated with language and verbal memory deterioration, while in FL patients fluency deficits were more strongly associated with executive measures of strategic planning and attention, Qualitatively different patterns of functional deficits may influence fluency performance in different neuropsychological groups. Caution therefore urged in the interpretation of poor fluency scores as indicative of either language or executive dysfunction, without additional information about the reasons for poor performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-108
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Neurology
Volume3
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1996

Keywords

  • fluency
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • frontal lobe lesions
  • executive function
  • language
  • neuropsychological tests
  • VERBAL FLUENCY
  • DIAGNOSIS
  • MEMORY
  • IMPAIRMENT
  • KNOWLEDGE
  • RETRIEVAL
  • BREAKDOWN

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