Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Preservation of the Semantic Verbal Fluency Advantage in a Large Population-Based Sample: Normative Data from the TILDA Study

  • Roisin M. Vaughan (a1), Robert F. Coen (a2), RoseAnne Kenny (a3) and Brian A. Lawlor (a2)
Abstract
Abstract

Objectives: It is widely believed that phonemic fluency is more difficult than naming exemplars from a semantic category. Normative data in this regard are scarce, and there is considerable disagreement in the literature regarding the pattern in normal ageing and neurodegenerative conditions. Our objective was to provide normative data for semantic phonemic discrepancy scores from a large sample of older adults. Methods: A total of 5780 community-dwelling older adults were included in this prospective, longitudinal study. Discrepancy scores were calculated by subtracting phonemic fluency score from semantic fluency score for each participant. Quantile regression was used to estimate normative values stratified for age. Results: Subjects did better on testing of semantic fluency. The average discrepancy score was 9.18±6.89 words, (range, −20 to 37; n=5780). At the fiftieth percentile, those in their fifth decade produced 10 more “animals” than “letter F” words. Subjects scored one word less per decade, with an average of seven more “animal” words produced by those in their eighth decade. Conclusions: Our study is the first to provide normative data and confirms that, for animal versus letter F fluency, the semantic advantage persists into later life in a population-based sample of community-dwelling older adults. Given that a majority of clinical samples have confirmed a reverse of this pattern in Alzheimer’s dementia (i.e., loss of semantic advantage in Alzheimer’s disease, yielding a phonemic advantage), our findings support the clinical utility of brief fluency tests and encourage further research into their use in diagnosis and prediction of progression to dementia. (JINS, 2016, 22, 1–7)

Copyright
Corresponding author
Correspondence and reprint requests to: Roisin M. Vaughan, St. Ita’s Hospital, Portrane, Co. Dublin. E-mail: roisvaughan@gmail.com
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

D. Barry , M.E. Bates , & E. Labouvie (2008). FAS and CFL forms of verbal fluency differ in difficulty: A meta-analytic study. Applied Neuropsychology, 15(2), 97106. doi:10.1080/09084280802083863

J. Brandt , & K.J. Manning (2009). Patterns of word-list generation in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. Clinical Neuropsychology, 23, 870879.

S.J.D. Canning , L. Leach , D. Stuss , L. Ngo , & S.E. Black (2004). Diagnostic utility of abbreviated fluency measures in Alzheimer disease and vascular dementia. Neurology, 62, 556562.

M.E. Cottingham , & K.A. Hawkins (2010). Verbal fluency deficits co-occur with memory deficits in geriatric patients at risk for dementia: Implications for the concept of mild cognitive impairment. Behavioural Neurology, 22(3-4), 7379. doi:10.3233/ben-2009-0246

H. Cronin , C. O’Regan , C. Finucane , P. Kearney , & R.A. Kenny (2013). Health and aging: Development of the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing health assessment. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 61(Suppl. 2), S269S278. doi:10.1111/jgs.12197

J.A. Gladsjo , C.C. Schuman , J.D. Evans , G.M. Peavy , S.W. Miller , & R.K. Heaton (1999). Norms for letter and category fluency: Demographic corrections for age, education, and ethnicity. Assessment, 6(2), 147178. doi:10.1177/107319119900600204

J.D. Henry , & J.R. Crawford (2004). A meta-analytic review of verbal fluency performance following focal cortical lesions. Neuropsychology, 18(2), 284295.

P.M. Kearney , H. Cronin , C. O’Regan , Y. Kamiya , G.M. Savva , B. Whelan , & R. Kenny (2011). Cohort profile: The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing. International Journal of Epidemiology, 40(4), 877884. doi:10.1093/ije/dyr116

R. Koenker , & G. Bassett (1978). Regression quantiles. Econometrica, 46(1), 3350.

E. Kozora , & C.M. Cullum (1995). Generative naming in normal aging: Total output and qualitative changes using phonemic and semantic constraints. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 9(4), 313320. doi:10.1080/13854049508400495

J.M. Lafosse , B.R. Reed , D. Mungas , S.B. Sterling , H. Wahbeh , & W.J. Jagust (1997). Fluency and memory differences between ischemic vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Neuropsychology, 11, 514522.

J.A. Lonie , L.L. Herrmann , K.M. Tierney , C. Donaghey , R. O’Carroll , A. Lee , & K.P. Ebmeier (2009). Lexical and semantic fluency discrepancy scores in aMCI and early Alzheimer’s disease. Journal of Neuropsychology, 3(1), 7992. doi:10.1348/174866408X289935

C. Marra , M. Ferraccioli , & G. Gainotti (2007). Gender-related dissociations of categorical fluency in normal subjects and in subjects with Alzheimer’s disease. Neuropsychology, 21, 207211.

A.U. Monsch , M.W. Bondi , N. Butters , D.P. Salmon , R. Katzman , & L.J. Thal (1992). Comparisons of verbal fluency tasks in the detection of dementia of the Alzheimer type. Archives of Neurology, 49(12), 12531258. doi:10.1001/archneur.1992.00530360051017

K.J. Murphy , J.B. Rich , & A.K. Troyer (2006). Verbal fluency patterns in amnestic mild cognitive impairment are characteristic of Alzheimer’s type dementia. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 12(4), 570574. doi:10.1017/S1355617706060590

Z.S. Nasreddine , N.A. Phillips , V. Bédirian , S. Charbonneau , V. Whitehead , I. Collin , J.L. Cummings , H. Chertkow (2005). The Montreal Cognitive Assessment, MoCA: A brief screening tool for mild cognitive impairment. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 53(4), 695699. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2005.53221.x

K.E. Nutter-Upham , A.J. Saykin , L.A. Rabin , R.M. Roth , H.A. Wishart , N. Pare , & L.A. Flashman (2008). Verbal fluency performance in amnestic MCI and older adults with cognitive complaints. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 23(3), 229241. doi:10.1016/j.acn.2008.01.005

B.A. Ober , N.F. Dronkers , E. Koss , D.C. Delis , & R.P. Friedland (1986). Retrieval from semantic memory in Alzheimer-type dementia. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 8(1), 7592. doi:10.1080/01688638608401298

E. Teng , J. Leone-Friedman , G.J. Lee , S. Woo , L.G. Apostolova , S. Harrell , & P.H. Lu (2013). Similar verbal fluency patterns in amnestic mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 28(5), 400410. doi:10.1093/arclin/act039

A. Weakley , M. Schmitter-Edgecombe , & J. Anderson (2013). Analysis of verbal fluency ability in amnestic and non-amnestic mild cognitive impairment. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 28(7), 721731. doi:10.1093/arclin/act058

E.M. Weiss , J.D. Ragland , C.M. Brensinger , W.B. Bilker , E.A. Deisenhammer , & M. Delazer (2006). Sex differences in clustering and switching in verbal fluency tasks. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 12(04), 502509. doi:10.1017/S1355617706060656

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society
  • ISSN: 1355-6177
  • EISSN: 1469-7661
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-international-neuropsychological-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Type Description Title
WORD
Supplementary Materials

Vaughan supplementary material
Vaughan Supplementary Revised

 Word (72 KB)
72 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 9
Total number of PDF views: 79 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 290 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 26th June 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.