Semin Speech Lang 2008; 29(1): 044-059
DOI: 10.1055/s-2008-1061624
© Thieme Medical Publishers

In Search of Meaning: Reading and Writing in Alzheimer's Disease

Stacy M. Harnish1 , 3 , Jean Neils-Strunjas2 , 3
  • 1Doctoral candidate
  • 2Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • 3Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
28 April 2008 (online)

ABSTRACT

Decline in semantic memory is a key feature of Alzheimer's disease, and reading and writing performance reflects this loss. The article presents an overview of theoretical reading and spelling models, including definitions of key terminology and controversies surrounding the interaction of semantics and the orthographic lexicon. We review literature supporting a direct lexical nonsemantic route in reading and writing. The reading and writing deficits of Alzheimer's disease are contrasted with those of semantic dementia. Methods of assessing semantic memory in reading and writing are outlined, including administering published tests, word lists, homophones, written confrontation naming, verbal fluency, and written narrative analysis.

REFERENCES

Jean Neils-Strunjas, Ph.D. 

Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, University of Cincinnati

P.O. Box 670379, Cincinnati, OH 45267-0379

Email: neilsjr@ucmail.uc.edu