We demonstrate that phonological and articulatory impairments may occur at presentation or early in the course of Alzheimer's disease, contrary to claims that these aspects of language production are relatively preserved until the final stages of this disease. Six patients with pathologically confirmed Alzheimer's disease (AD) and four patients with clinically diagnosed dementia of the Alzheimer's type (DAT) presented with one of five different clinical profiles: Nonfluent progressive aphasia, mixed progressive aphasia, progressive aphasia diagnosed as DAT from neuropsychological assessment, initial amnestic syndrome with prominent phonological errors, and biparietal syndrome. Analysis of their conversational speech, single-word production, and performance of highly familiar series speech tasks such as counting revealed false start errors, phonological paraphasias, and/or articulatory difficulty. Neuropathological changes were located in left perisylvian regions consistent with speech and language impairment but atypical for Alzheimer's disease. (C) 2000 Academic Press.
- Alzheimer's disease
- Progressive aphasia