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Brain Lang. 1990 Nov;39(4):530-8.

Naming consistency in Alzheimer's disease.

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Department of Neurology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.


Although lexical semantic deficits are postulated to play a prominent role in the anomia of Alzheimer's disease, it is unclear whether the primary disturbance is one of lexical access or one of lexical semantic loss. Response consistency on a naming task is one means of evaluating the underlying source of naming impairment. Access dysfunction usually implies variable word-finding difficulty, while a theory of lexical loss predicts that many word names would be consistently unavailable. Nineteen Alzheimer's disease patients were administered a visual confrontation naming task (the Boston Naming Test) on two occasions 6 months apart. Eighty percent of errors occurred consistently at both times; only 20% of errors occurred on only one occasion. Response consistency occurred significantly more often than expected under the assumption of no response consistency. Findings support the hypothesis that anomia in Alzheimer's disease is in part due to a loss of lexical semantic information.

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