Aging of the Brain and Alzheimer's Disease by D.F. Swaab, E. Fliers, M. Mirmiran, W.A. Van Gool and F. Van

By D.F. Swaab, E. Fliers, M. Mirmiran, W.A. Van Gool and F. Van Haaren (Eds.)

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Neurology, 35: 453-461. This Page Intentionally Left Blank D. F. Swaab. E. Fliers, M. Mirmiran. W. A. Van Cool and F. ) Progress in Bruin Research. Vol. 70. V. (Biomedical Division) 0 1986 Elsevier Science CHAPTER 2 Cognitive, emotional and behavioral dysfunctions in aging and dementia J. Jolles Department of Clinical Psychiatry, State University of Limbitrg. Box. 616. 6200 M D Maastricht. The Netherlands Introduction There has been extensive research into psychological dysfunctions in aging and senile dementia over the past 30 years.

The performance on a new or complex task, however, is much slower; the extra time is needed for the planning of (the stages of) the motor act. In addition, elderly people pay more attention (and thus more time) to the signals presented before they act. This is especially the case when the relation between signal and response is not straightforward. The performance of elderly people becomes slower and less accurate when the subject has to ‘choose between alternatives or when an extra judgement of spatial relations has to be made (see Welford, 1977).

Stage 3. With further progression, the patients develop a clear aphasia, apraxia and agnosia. Spontaneous speech decreases further; there is a tendency to echo what is said (echolalia); there is greatly reduced comprehension and an inability to name objects. This anomia appears to be more than a simple problem in finding the correct word: the patient characteristically acts as if not recognizing the object and the failure therefore is a visual agnosia. e. a difficulty with the execution of previously learned skilled movements, such as combing the hair.

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