Information Units Produced by Persons with Mild Alzheimer’s Disease During a Picture Description Task.

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This study examined the narrative discourse abilities of adults with mild. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) (n = 8) versus age-matched normal elderly control subjects (n = 21). A timed description of the Cookie Theft picture from the Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Examination-3 (Goodglass, Kaplan, & Barresi, 2001) was used to elicit the narrative discourse. The focus of the discourse analysis was the number of information units (IUs) produced by participants in each group. IUs consisted of the number of words spoken, the number of syllables produced, and reference to objects, localizations, actions, and features. Participants with AD produced statistically significantly (P .05) less IUs than normal control subjects. The implications of this finding are discussed in terms of identification of persons with preclinical or clinical AD. Directions for future research are suggested. INTRODUCTION

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