Difficulties in assessing cognition in very old adults include an increasing variability in performance, including in the area of executive functions, even without clear evidence of a dementing process. This study examines the performance of 97 community dwellers (mean age 85.2 years), divided into two groups (Clinical Dementia Rating "No Dementia" versus "Questionable"), on phonemic and semantic verbal fluency tasks (total, switching, and clustering scores). The total word production was significantly worse for the "Questionable" group for both fluency tasks as was the phonemic switching score. There was no difference between groups on the semantic switching score and on either clustering score. These findings indicate that a poorer performance on aspects of verbal fluency tasks involving frontal subcortical circuits may signal an incipient neurodegenerative process.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Brain and Cognition|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|