An Update of the Literature on Language in Dementia In this article, I have aimed to describe the recent literature (2003–2005) regarding language and dementia. Most of this research has been published in neuropsychology literature, but it is relevant to speech therapists in practice as it explains the nature of the cognitive-linguistic deficits. This article is not intended ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2005
An Update of the Literature on Language in Dementia
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Melissa Hall
    Private Practice, Maryville, MO
Article Information
Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Articles
Article   |   December 01, 2005
An Update of the Literature on Language in Dementia
SIG 15 Perspectives on Gerontology, December 2005, Vol. 10, 14-16. doi:10.1044/gero10.2.14
SIG 15 Perspectives on Gerontology, December 2005, Vol. 10, 14-16. doi:10.1044/gero10.2.14
In this article, I have aimed to describe the recent literature (2003–2005) regarding language and dementia. Most of this research has been published in neuropsychology literature, but it is relevant to speech therapists in practice as it explains the nature of the cognitive-linguistic deficits. This article is not intended as a critical review of the research; rather, it is a description of the latest findings.
Most of the current articles focus on how semantic deficits are at the root of the naming difficulties seen in patients with dementia, and how patients can demonstrate understanding of how objects are similar but are unable to describe in what ways they differ. Further, semantic language deficits can be seen in patients at risk for dementia even before the first symptoms of dementia of the Alzheimer’s type (DAT) appear. Articles from journals of nursing and social work describe how the language of persons with DAT can be more functional when compensatory strategies are used. Finally, there is one report of how brain function can be improved with treatment.
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