Differing neuropsychological and neuroanatomical correlates of abnormal reading in early-stage semantic dementia and dementia of the Alzheimer type

Brian T. Gold, Dave A. Balota, Michael J. Cortese, Susan D. Sergent-Marshall, Abraham Z. Snyder, David H. Salat, Bruce Fischl, Anders M. Dale, John C. Morris, Randy L. Buckner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

Individuals with semantic dementia (SD) were differentiated neuropsychologically from individuals with dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT) at very mild-to-mild stages (clinical dementia rating 0.5 or 1). A picture naming and recognition memory experiment provided a particularly useful probe for early identification, with SD individuals showing preserved picture recognition memory and impaired naming, and DAT individuals tending to show the reverse dissociation. The identification of an early SD group provided the opportunity to inform models of reading by exploring the influence of isolated lexical semantic impairment on reading regular words. Results demonstrated prolonged latency in both SD and DAT group reading compared to a control group but exaggerated influence of frequency and length only for the SD group. The SD reading pattern was associated with focal atrophy of the left temporal pole. These cognitive-neuroanatomical findings suggest a role for the left temporal pole in lexical/semantic components of reading and demonstrate that cortical thickness differences in the left temporal pole correlate with prolonged latency associated with increased reliance on sublexical components of reading.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)833-846
Number of pages14
JournalNeuropsychologia
Volume43
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2005

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Reading
  • Recognition memory
  • Semantic dementia

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