Fluency tests are widely used in clinical settings to assess cognitive function. Fluency deficits in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) are generally attributed to deteriorated language storage. In contrast, patients with lesions to the frontal lobes (FL) of the brain are thought to have poor fluency due to executive deficits of retrieval. This study examined the relationships between fluency performance and cognitive measures of language and executive function in both AD and FL patients. In both groups, fluency performance related to measures of language Comprehension and executive control of attention. However, in AD patients, fluency deficits were most closely associated with language and verbal memory deterioration, while in FL patients fluency deficits were more strongly associated with executive measures of strategic planning and attention, Qualitatively different patterns of functional deficits may influence fluency performance in different neuropsychological groups. Caution therefore urged in the interpretation of poor fluency scores as indicative of either language or executive dysfunction, without additional information about the reasons for poor performance.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||European Journal of Neurology|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 1996|