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Effect of Literacy and Education on the Visuoconstructional Ability of Non-demented Elderly Individuals

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 August 2011

Yun Jeong Hong
Affiliation:
Department of Neurology, The Catholic University of Korea, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
Bora Yoon
Affiliation:
Department of Neurology, Konyang University College of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea
Yong S. Shim
Affiliation:
Department of Neurology, The Catholic University of Korea, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
A-Hyun Cho
Affiliation:
Department of Neurology, The Catholic University of Korea, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
Eek-Sung Lee
Affiliation:
Department of Neurology, The Catholic University of Korea, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
Yeong-In Kim
Affiliation:
Department of Neurology, The Catholic University of Korea, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
Dong Won Yang*
Affiliation:
Department of Neurology, The Catholic University of Korea, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
*
Correspondence and reprint requests to: Dong Won Yang, Department of Neurology, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, 505 Banpo-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul, 137-701, Korea. E-mail: neuroman@catholic.ac.kr

Abstract

Learning to read and to write influences not only verbal skills but also global cognitive performance. Our study aimed to compare the visuoconstructional abilities of elderly illiterates with those of elderly literates. A total of 125 healthy subjects over 65 years old were recruited. Korean version of Mini-Mental State Examination (K-MMSE) and the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-cognitive subscale (ADAS-cog) constructional praxis examination were used. We divided subjects into three groups (educated literate n = 53, uneducated literate n = 36 and uneducated illiterate n = 36). Interlocking pentagons drawing, a part of the K-MMSE, was scored using the 6-point hierarchical scale. The uneducated-illiterate group obtained significantly lower scores than did the other two groups. Scores on the ADAS-cog constructional praxis test were highest in the educated-literate group and those in the uneducated-illiterate group obtained the lowest scores. We demonstrated that illiteracy influences not only language performance but also visuoconstructional functioning. (JINS, 2011, 17, 934–939)

Type
Brief Communications
Copyright
Copyright © The International Neuropsychological Society 2011

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