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Neuropsychologia. 1992 Apr;30(4):301-14.

Semantic memory impairment in Alzheimer's disease: failure of access or degraded knowledge?

Author information

1
University of Cambridge Clinical School, U.K.

Abstract

A battery of neuropsychological tests designed to assess semantic knowledge about the same items both within and across different modalities was administered to a group of 22 patients with dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT) and 26 matched controls. The DAT patients were impaired on tests of category fluency, picture naming, spoken word-picture matching, picture sorting and generation of verbal definitions. A relative preservation of superordinate knowledge on the sorting and definition tests, as well as a disproportionate reduction in the generation of exemplars from lower order categories was noted. Analysis of the errors made by each patient across the different tests, revealed a significant correspondence between the individual items. These findings offer compelling evidence that the semantic breakdown in DAT is caused by storage degradation.

PMID:
1603295
DOI:
10.1016/0028-3932(92)90104-t
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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