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Naming difficulty is a common symptom of multiple age-related neurodegenerative disorders. As naming difficulty increases with age, valid, up-to-date naming assessment tools are crucial for differentiating between neurotypical changes in healthy aging and pathological naming difficulty. We aimed to develop and provide normative data for complementary auditory description naming and visual naming tests for older adults. Furthermore, these measures would include not only untimed accuracy, typically the sole naming performance measure, but also additional scores that incorporate features characteristic of actual word finding difficulty.
A normative sample of 407 healthy older adults, aged 56–100 years, were administered the Auditory Naming Test (ANT) and Visual Naming Test (VNT), and other standardized measures.
Item analyses resulted in 36 stimuli for both tests. Age-stratified, education-based normative data are provided for accuracy, response time, tip-of-the-tongue (i.e., delayed, yet accurate responses plus correct responses following phonemic cueing), and multiple Summary Scores. Internal and test–retest reliability coefficients were reasonable (.59–.84). Untimed accuracy scores were high across age groups, seemingly reflecting stability of naming into late adulthood; however, time- and cue-based scores revealed reduced efficiency in word retrieval with increasing age.
These complementary auditory and visual naming test for older adults improve upon the current standard by providing more sensitive performance measures and the addition of an auditory–verbal component for assessing naming. Detection of subtle naming changes in healthy aging holds promise for capturing symptomatic naming changes during the early stages of neurocognitive disorders involving expressive language, potentially assisting in earlier diagnoses and more timely treatment.
The cognitive profile of early onset Parkinson’s disease (EOPD) has not been clearly defined. Mutations in the parkin gene are the most common genetic risk factor for EOPD and may offer information about the neuropsychological pattern of performance in both symptomatic and asymptomatic mutation carriers. EOPD probands and their first-degree relatives who did not have Parkinson’s disease (PD) were genotyped for mutations in the parkin gene and administered a comprehensive neuropsychological battery. Performance was compared between EOPD probands with (N = 43) and without (N = 52) parkin mutations. The same neuropsychological battery was administered to 217 first-degree relatives to assess neuropsychological function in individuals who carry parkin mutations but do not have PD. No significant differences in neuropsychological test performance were found between parkin carrier and noncarrier probands. Performance also did not differ between EOPD noncarriers and carrier subgroups (i.e., heterozygotes, compound heterozygotes/homozygotes). Similarly, no differences were found among unaffected family members across genotypes. Mean neuropsychological test performance was within normal range in all probands and relatives. Carriers of parkin mutations, whether or not they have PD, do not perform differently on neuropsychological measures as compared to noncarriers. The cognitive functioning of parkin carriers over time warrants further study. (JINS, 2011, 17, 1–10)
Test scores from a comprehensive neuropsychological battery
administered to 1602 subjects consisting of 1347 subjects with
probable Alzheimer's disease (AD), 100 subjects with
questionable dementia (QD) and 155 non-demented elderly control
subjects were cross-sectionally analyzed. Subjects with probable
AD were categorized as mild (n = 244),
moderate (n = 480), severe (n
= 376), and very severe (n = 247) according
to modified mini mental status exam (mMMSE) scores. Mean scores
on individual neuropsychological tests are provided for each
group of subjects. Stratified random sampling was performed
to select a sample of mild AD subjects who were matched in age
and education to non-demented elderly controls, and analyses
focused on the performance of QD subjects and mild AD subjects,
whose scores were compared to those of the elderly control
subjects. Selected scores were organized by cognitive domain
and logistic regressions were used to determine the domains
and individual tests within each that were most predictive of
group status. Results suggested a profile of scores associated
with QD and mild AD including impaired recall of verbal information
for both groups. Areas of lower functioning in QD subjects as
compared to elderly controls included category fluency and
visuospatial ability. (JINS, 2003, 9, 720–732.)
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