Comparison of Syntactic and Comprehention between Mild to Moderate Patients with Alzheimer,s Disease and Normal Aging People

We are in a world that is quickly aging and some neurodegenerative diseases may lead to death of elderly people. Dementia, as the result of such diseases, has negative effects on the quality of life of the patients, so it necessaries long term care. Neurocognitive functions that are affected in these patients include intelligence, language, memory, learning, perception, attention, judgment, concentration and social skills. Progressive disorders of language is a main symptom of the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. This study aimed to compare syntax and semantic comprehension between patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease and healthy elderly people.
This descriptive cross- sectional study was conducted to compare semantic and syntactic comprehension of 10 people with mild to moderate Alzheimer disease (6 men and 4 women) with a mean age of 63, with normal elderly individuals (6 men and 4 women) with a mean age of 66. The subjects were examined by syntax and semantic parts of BAT (Bilingual Aphasia test). Data were analyzed by Independent samples t test, Wilcoxon Signed-Rank test, and the Spearman product-moment correlation coefficient in SPSS 20.
The results revealed significant differences between patients with Alzheimer’s disease and normal elderly people in syntax and semantic comprehension (P<0/001). A significant difference was observed between syntax and semantic comprehension in Alzheimer’s patients (P<0/001), but not in normal elderly people. No significant correlation between education and syntax and semantic comprehension in Alzheimer’s patients was evident. Although negative sentences were more difficult to understand than positive sentences in Alzheimer’s patients, but there was no significant difference.
Our findings suggested that syntactic and semantic comprehension decreased in Alzheimer’s patients, but syntax comprehension was better than semantic comprehension.
Journal of Speech-Language & Communication Disorders, Volume:4 Issue: 2, 2014
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