Diseases

Aging of the Brain and Alzheimer's Disease by D.F. Swaab, E. Fliers, M. Mirmiran, W.A. Van Gool and F. Van

By D.F. Swaab, E. Fliers, M. Mirmiran, W.A. Van Gool and F. Van Haaren (Eds.)

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1970) showed that their demented subjects had a general poverty of vocabulary in narrative speech in common, but many dementing subjects showed impairments in object naming. In other studies, age-matched controls also showed a relative impairment in naming, although demented patients were clearly inferior in this respect (Barker and Lawson, 1968; Lawson and Barker, 1968). A demonstration of the way in which an object could be used (confrontation naming) improved naming in the demented patients but had no effect in the control subjects.

All functions deteriorated gradually during the disease process so that the differences between the various abilities and the Generally, standardized tests have increased our knowledge of the development of deficits in normal aging and dementia. g. Russell, 1981). Psychometric tests have a number of advantages: they are standardized and published norms are generally available. In addition, they are easy to administer and there is usually a good reliability. A drawback of the psychometric approach is that the use of test scores as such does not allow the identification of cognitive deficits that underly the performance changes.

Behavioral neurology A different approach to assess cognitive functioning in geriatry has been presented by the neuropsychologist Luria (1 966, 1973). He presented a model of brain-behavior relationships which served as a basis for an extensive neuropsychological investigation. His approach consists of a set of procedures which systematically assess different aspects of cognitive functioning (see Table I).

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