Cognitive impairments associated with progressive supranuclear palsy



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The purpose of this study was to investigate the nature and degree of cognitive impairment in 32 patients with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP). Their performance was compared to that of 28 patients with Alzheimer's disease (SDAT) and to their age corrected norms for each of the neuropsychological measures used. Significantly higher scores were achieved by the PSP group for the WAIS Verbal IQ and for the WMS Logical Memory when compared to patients with SDAT. Differences between the two patient groups failed to reach levels of significance for the WAIS Similarities and Block Design subtests, the WMS Visual Reproduction, and the Spatial Orientation Memory Test. Comparison of the SDAT group to their age corrected norms showed significant differences for all measures. In contrast, the PSP group differed significantly from their age corrected norms only on tests with visual demands, that is, WAIS Block Design, WMS Visual Reproduction, and the Spatial Orientation Memory Test. Differences were not significant for the WAIS Verbal IQ, the WAIS Similarities subtest, and the WMS Logical Memory. The patient groups were further divided into early and advanced stages according to disease duration and their performances on the verbal neuropsychological measures used (Similarities, VIQ, and Logical Memory) were compared to their respective age corrected norms. Neither the early nor advanced PSP groups differed significantly from their norms in any of these measures. The early SDAT group, however, differed significantly from their age corrected norms in the Logical Memory subtest while the advanced SDAT group differed significantly in the three measures . Results indicate that the cognitive decline evident in PSP can not be characterized as a dementing process but rather the consequence of associated visual and motor deficits present in this disease.



Pseudobulbar paralysis