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      Semantic memory impairment in Alzheimer's disease: Failure of access or degraded knowledge?

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      Neuropsychologia

      Elsevier BV

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          Abstract

          A battery of neuropsychological tests designed to assess semantic knowledge about the same items both within and across different modalities was administered to a group of 22 patients with dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT) and 26 matched controls. The DAT patients were impaired on tests of category fluency, picture naming, spoken word-picture matching, picture sorting and generation of verbal definitions. A relative preservation of superordinate knowledge on the sorting and definition tests, as well as a disproportionate reduction in the generation of exemplars from lower order categories was noted. Analysis of the errors made by each patient across the different tests, revealed a significant correspondence between the individual items. These findings offer compelling evidence that the semantic breakdown in DAT is caused by storage degradation.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Neuropsychologia
          Neuropsychologia
          Elsevier BV
          00283932
          April 1992
          April 1992
          : 30
          : 4
          : 301-314
          Article
          1603295
          © 1992

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