Vol. 13 nº 2 - Apr/May/Jun de 2019
Original Article Páginas: 225 a 231

Narrative discourse in Persian-speaking patients with mild Alzheimer's disease

Authors Masumeh Farivar1; Zahra Ghayoumi Anaraki2; Fatemeh Derakhshandeh3; Nahid Baharloei4; Marziyeh Poorjavad5*


keywords: oral narrative production; Alzheimer's disease; aging; dementia.

Despite the significance of discourse impairments, they have not been thoroughly investigated in Persian-speaking patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD).
OBJECTIVE: the aim of this study was to perform a multi-level analysis of narrative discourse in Persian-speaking patients with mild AD and to compare them with healthy elderly.
METHODS: the study included 14 older adults with mild AD and a matched group of 14 healthy elderly. Using a storytelling task based on serial pictures, both macro- and micro-linguistic aspects of narrative discourse were assessed. Cohesion ratio and coherence were investigated as macrolinguistic dimensions of discourse. The studied microlinguistic features included syntactic complexity and verbal errors (mostly involving phonological and semantic paraphasias and mazes). Severity of AD was determined using the Cognitive Dementia Rating (CDR).
RESULTS: there were significant differences between the groups regarding cohesion ratio (0.9 ± 0.34 vs. 1.29 ± 0.45, p = 0.02) and coherence scores (2.43 ± 0.41 vs. 3.02 ± 0.81, p = 0.03). Verbal errors and syntactic complexity did not differ significantly between the groups.
CONCLUSION: Persian-speaking patients with mild AD show macrolinguistic impairments in producing discourses based on picture description. Therefore, intervention protocols should focus on the ability to organize information on a specific subject and also to connect sentences produced using appropriate cohesive ties.


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