Evolution of Writing Impairment in Spanish Patients with Alzheimer's Disease

Author(s): María González-Nosti*, Fernando Cuetos, Carmen Martínez

Journal Name: Current Alzheimer Research

Volume 17 , Issue 9 , 2020

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Background: Although some studies suggest that writing difficulties may be one of the early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease (AD), they have been scarcely studied compared to oral language. Particularly noteworthy is the paucity of longitudinal studies that enable the observation of writing impairment as cognitive decline progresses.

Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the characteristics of writing in patients with AD and to monitor the deterioration of their performance over a follow-up period.

Methods: Sixty-four participants (half with AD and half healthy elderly) were compared in a word and pseudo-word dictation task. Patients were evaluated every 6 months over a 2.5 year follow-up period.

Results: The evolution of patient performance and error profile shows a typical pattern of deterioration, with early damage to the lexical pathway, which later extends to the phonological pathway and eventually affects peripheral processes.

Conclusion: These results confirm the presence of writing difficulties from the early stages of AD, supporting the value of this task for early diagnosis. Furthermore, it allows us to explain the contradictory data obtained in previous investigations.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease, writing disorders, cognitive decline, dictation, spelling difficulties, longitudinal study.

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Year: 2020
Page: [845 - 857]
Pages: 13
DOI: 10.2174/1567205017666201204162837
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