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Microlinguistic aspects of the oral narrative in patients with Alzheimer's disease

  • Juliana Onofre de Lira (a1), Karin Zazo Ortiz (a1), Aline Carvalho Campanha (a1), Paulo Henrique Ferreira Bertolucci (a2) and Thaís Soares Cianciarullo Minett (a3)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 11 August 2010

Background: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by memory loss and cognitive impairment. Phonological, syntactic, semantic and discursive aspects of language may also be affected. Analysis of micro- and macrolinguistic abilities of discourse may assist in diagnosing AD. The aim of this study was to identify changes in the discourse (lexical errors and syntactic index) of AD patients.

Methods: 121 elderly subjects narrated a story based on a seven-figure picture description.

Results: Patients with AD presented more word-finding difficulties, revisions and repetitions, and the syntactic index was lower than controls.

Conclusion: Performance in microlinguistics at the lexical and syntactic levels was lower than expected in participants with AD.

Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: Juliana Onofre de Lira, Department of Speech Therapy, São Paulo Federal University, Euclides Pacheco St, 803/1310. São Paulo, SP, 03321-000, Brazil. Tel/fax: +55 11 3881-7705 Email:
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International Psychogeriatrics
  • ISSN: 1041-6102
  • EISSN: 1741-203X
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