The neural basis of naming impairments in Alzheimer's disease revealed through positron emission tomography.
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The naming impairments in Alzheimer's disease (AD) have been attributed to a variety of cognitive processing deficits, including impairments in semantic memory, visual perception, and lexical access. To further understand the underlying biological basis of the naming failures in AD, the present investigation examined the relationship of various classes of naming errors to regional brain measures of cerebral glucose metabolism as measured with 18 F-Fluoro-2-deoxyglucose (FDG) and positron emission tomography (PET). Errors committed on a visual naming test were categorized according to a cognitive processing schema and then examined in relationship to metabolism within specific brain regions. The results revealed an association of semantic errors with glucose metabolism in the frontal and temporal regions. Language access errors, such as circumlocutions, and word blocking nonresponses were associated with decreased metabolism in areas within the left hemisphere. Visuoperceptive errors were related to right inferior parietal metabolic function. The findings suggest that specific brain areas mediate the perceptual, semantic, and lexical processing demands of visual naming and that visual naming problems in dementia are related to dysfunction in specific neural circuits.
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Juanita M. Kreps Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
For .pdfs of all publications click here My main research interest has been in long-term memory, especially for complex (or "real-world") stimuli. This work includes the study of autobiographical memory
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Dr. Kathleen Welsh-Bohmer is a Professor of Psychiatry with a secondary appointment in the Department of Neurology. Clinically trained as a neuropsychologist, Dr. Welsh-Bohmer's research activities have been focused around developing effective prevention and treatment strategies to delay the onset of cognitive disorders occurring in later life. From 2006 through 2018 she directed the Joseph and Kathleen Bryan Alzheimer’s Center
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