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Neurology. 1988 May;38(5):680-4.

Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease: comparison of speech and language alterations.

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  • 1Neurobehavior Unit, West LA VAMC (Brentwood Division), CA 90073.


Speech and language alterations were assessed in 51 patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and 10 patients with dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT). Thirty-five of the PD patients had no evidence of intellectual impairment on a conventional mental status questionnaire and 16 of the PD patients had dementia syndromes of comparable severity to the DAT patients. DAT produced significantly greater language disturbances, including anomia, decreased information content of spontaneous speech, and diminished word list generation. PD patients had significantly decreased phrase length, impaired speech melody, dysarthria, and agraphia. The results suggest that the dementia of PD is distinguishable from that of DAT:PD patients have prominent motor speech abnormalities, whereas DAT patients exhibit more profound language alterations.

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