The Gerontologist, Vol 31, Issue 2 210-216, Copyright © 1991 by The Gerontological Society of America
Caregiver report of prevalence and appearance order of linguistic symptoms in Alzheimer's patients
KA Bayles and CK Tomoeda
Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson 85721.
We interviewed primary caregivers of 99 Alzheimer's disease patients about
the existence and appearance order of linguistic symptoms in a longitudinal
study of disease effects on communication. The most prevalent linguistic
symptom was difficulty finding the correct word and the least prevalent was
increased talkativeness. The prevalence of linguistic symptoms was strongly
correlated with order of symptom appearance, with difficulty writing a
meaningful letter appearing first and word finding difficulty appearing
second. Based on caregiver perceptions, symptom prevalence and order of
appearance are specified and discussed in relation to onset of
nonlinguistic memory deficit, dementia severity, and performance on a
linguistic communication test battery.