Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration: Characterizing Semantic Binding and Abstracted Meaning Abilities
Purpose: Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) encompasses a group of neurodegenerative disorders characterized by gradual and progressive decline in behavior and/or language. Identifying the subtypes of FTLD can be challenging with traditional assessment tools. Growing empirical evidence suggests that language measures might be useful in differentiating FTLD subtypes.
Method: In this paper, we examined the performance of five individuals with FTLD (two with frontotemporal dementia, two with semantic dementia, and one with progressive nonfluent aphasia) and 10 cognitively normal older adults on measures of semantic binding (Semantic Object Retrieval Test and semantic problem solving) and abstracted meaning (generation of interpretive statement and proverb interpretation).
Results and Conclusion: A differential profile of impairment was observed in the three FTLD subtypes on these four measures. Further examination of these measures in larger groups will establish their clinical utility in differentiating the FTLD subtypes.