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Original Article
Dementia and Neurocognitive Disorders 2010: 9: 1: 1-7

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초기 알츠하이머병과 기억장애성 경도인지장애 환자의 속담 이해능력
유희진∙박아람*∙강현석∙김희진*∙한설희
건국대학교병원 신경과
한양대학교병원 신경과*
Proverb Comprehension in Early Stage Alzheimer’s Disease and Amnestic-Mild Cognitive Impairment
Hui Jin Ryu, M.A., Aram Park, M.A.*, HunSoek Kang, M.D., Hee-Jin Kim, M.D.*, Seol-Heui Han, M.D.
Department of Neurology, Kunkuk University Medical Center, Seoul;
Department of Neurology*, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
Background: Language comprehension in the early stage of Alzheimer’s disease (early AD) is known to be relatively intact. However, subtle impairment of comprehension in communication has been repeatedly reported in patients with early AD. The failure of instant and appropriate understanding of figurative language may contribute to this impairment. The aim of this study is to investigate whether the patients with early AD and amnestic-mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) show the impairment of figurative language compared with normal controls, by assessing comprehension of familiar proverbs. We also tried to look for if there are any correlations between proverb comprehension and frontal functions in the study population. Methods: Total 46 patients (23 early AD and 23 aMCI) and 32 normal controls participated in this study. Proverb comprehension test consisted of 10 familiar proverbs selected through preliminary study, encompassing 3 conditions, i.e., figurative, literal and unrelated. We devised a specific scoring system to measure proverb comprehension ability and designed the experimental paradigm to evaluate inhibitory control ability using the proverb comprehension test. In addition to the proverb comprehension test, frontal function tests (FAB, Stroop test, digit span backward, similarity test, FBI apathy items, animal & phonemic fluency), K-MMSE, CDR and SGDS-K were administered. Results: Proverb comprehension ability was significantly reduced in early AD and aMCI compared to normal control (F=19.50, p<0.001). And proverb comprehension was significantly related to the frontal function. Conclusion: The early AD and aMCI showed lower proverb comprehension ability compared to the normal controls, which might be attributed to impaired frontal lobe functions.
Key Words: Proverb, Alzheimer’s disease, Mild cognitive impairment, Frontal lobe function