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February 1991

Age at Onset of Alzheimer's Disease: Relation to Language Dysfunction

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson.

Arch Neurol. 1991;48(2):155-159. doi:10.1001/archneur.1991.00530140047016

• A later age at onset of Alzheimer's disease (AD) was found to be related to diminished language performance in 86 patients with probable AD. A hierarchical linear model was constructed to assess effects of age at onset and disease duration on the performance of patients with AD on four language tasks (naming, reading, auditory comprehension, and writing to dictation) after controlling for disease severity. Results of univariate analysis, in which the dependent variable was the averaged language task performances, revealed a significant effect for age at onset of AD, but not for disease duration. To assess the possibility that the relationship between the age at onset of AD and language performance reflects effects of normal aging, the language tasks were given to 33 normal subjects of similar ages who scored perfectly on dementia severity measures. A convincing relationship was not found between test score and age.

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