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Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2013;35(5-6):313-24. doi: 10.1159/000342594. Epub 2013 Apr 13.

Prevalence of word retrieval complaint and prediction of dementia in a population-based study of elderly subjects.

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  • 1Centre de Recherche Cerveau et Cognition, UMR 5549, CNRS, Universit√© Paul-Sabatier, Toulouse, France.


There is agreement that elderly people complain about word finding difficulties, particularly proper names. However, few studies have focused on the prevalence of this complaint in the general population, nor is it clearly known whether it is predictive of dementia. The aim of this study was to fill this gap using the PAQUID cohort. 1,838 people aged 65 or more completed questionnaires and neuropsychological evaluation regularly during 13 years. Results show that the complaint about proper name retrieval concerns 64% of people aged above 65 years, and the complaint about common names 30%. The complaint was not associated with enhanced risk of dementia, whereas short naming tests were. Only a marginal relation was found between these naming tests and word retrieval complaint. This study emphasizes the importance of proper name retrieval complaint in the general population and suggests that elderly subjects can be reassured in the absence of other symptoms.

Copyright © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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