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Annu Rev Appl Linguist. 2008 Jan 1;28:73-90.

Language and Dementia: Neuropsychological Aspects.

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Emerson College, Boston.


This article reviews recent evidence for the relationship between extralinguistic cognitive and language abilities in dementia. A survey of data from investigations of three dementia syndromes (Alzheimer's disease, semantic dementia and progressive nonfluent aphasia) reveals that, more often than not, deterioration of conceptual organization appears associated with lexical impairments, whereas impairments in executive function are associated with sentence- and discourse-level deficits. These connections between extralinguistic functions and language ability also emerge from the literature on cognitive reserve and bilingualism that investigates factors that delay the onset and possibly the progression of neuropsychological manifestation of dementia.

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