High amyloid burden is associated with fewer specific words during spontaneous speech in individuals with subjective cognitive decline

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Abstract

Self-perceived word-finding difficulties are common in aging individuals as well as in Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Language and speech deficits are difficult to objectify with neuropsychological assessments. We therefore aimed to investigate whether amyloid, an early AD pathological hallmark, is associated with speech-derived semantic complexity. We included 63 individuals with subjective cognitive decline (age 64 ± 8, MMSE 29 ± 1), with amyloid status (positron emission tomography [PET] scans n = 59, or Aβ1-42 cerebrospinal fluid [CSF] n = 4). Spontaneous speech was recorded using three open-ended tasks (description of cookie theft picture, abstract painting and a regular Sunday), transcribed verbatim and subsequently, linguistic parameters were extracted using T-scan computational software, including specific words (content words, frequent, concrete and abstract nouns, and fillers), lexical complexity (lemma frequency, Type-Token-Ratio) and syntactic complexity (Developmental Level scale). Nineteen individuals (30%) had high levels of amyloid burden, and there were no differences between groups on conventional neuropsychological tests. Using multinomial regression with linguistic parameters (in tertiles), we found that high amyloid burden is associated with fewer concrete nouns (ORmiddle (95%CI): 7.6 (1.4–41.2), ORlowest: 6.7 (1.2–37.1)) and content words (ORlowest: 6.3 (1.0–38.1). In addition, we found an interaction for education between high amyloid burden and more abstract nouns. In conclusion, high amyloid burden was modestly associated with fewer specific words, but not with syntactic complexity, lexical complexity or conventional neuropsychological tests, suggesting that subtle spontaneous speech deficits might occur in preclinical AD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-192
JournalNeuropsychologia
Volume131
Early online date7 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Cite this

@article{e5b6330048f54153a275453992025905,
title = "High amyloid burden is associated with fewer specific words during spontaneous speech in individuals with subjective cognitive decline",
abstract = "Self-perceived word-finding difficulties are common in aging individuals as well as in Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Language and speech deficits are difficult to objectify with neuropsychological assessments. We therefore aimed to investigate whether amyloid, an early AD pathological hallmark, is associated with speech-derived semantic complexity. We included 63 individuals with subjective cognitive decline (age 64 ± 8, MMSE 29 ± 1), with amyloid status (positron emission tomography [PET] scans n = 59, or Aβ1-42 cerebrospinal fluid [CSF] n = 4). Spontaneous speech was recorded using three open-ended tasks (description of cookie theft picture, abstract painting and a regular Sunday), transcribed verbatim and subsequently, linguistic parameters were extracted using T-scan computational software, including specific words (content words, frequent, concrete and abstract nouns, and fillers), lexical complexity (lemma frequency, Type-Token-Ratio) and syntactic complexity (Developmental Level scale). Nineteen individuals (30{\%}) had high levels of amyloid burden, and there were no differences between groups on conventional neuropsychological tests. Using multinomial regression with linguistic parameters (in tertiles), we found that high amyloid burden is associated with fewer concrete nouns (ORmiddle (95{\%}CI): 7.6 (1.4–41.2), ORlowest: 6.7 (1.2–37.1)) and content words (ORlowest: 6.3 (1.0–38.1). In addition, we found an interaction for education between high amyloid burden and more abstract nouns. In conclusion, high amyloid burden was modestly associated with fewer specific words, but not with syntactic complexity, lexical complexity or conventional neuropsychological tests, suggesting that subtle spontaneous speech deficits might occur in preclinical AD.",
author = "Verfaillie, {Sander C. J.} and Jurriaan Witteman and Slot, {Rosalinde E. R.} and Pruis, {Ilanah J.} and Vermaat, {Lieke E. W.} and Prins, {Niels D.} and Schiller, {Niels O.} and {van de Wiel}, Mark and Philip Scheltens and {van Berckel}, {Bart N. M.} and {van der Flier}, {Wiesje M.} and Sikkes, {Sietske A. M.}",
note = "Copyright {\circledC} 2019. Published by Elsevier Ltd.",
year = "2019",
doi = "10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2019.05.006",
language = "English",
volume = "131",
pages = "184--192",
journal = "Neuropsychologia",
issn = "0028-3932",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - High amyloid burden is associated with fewer specific words during spontaneous speech in individuals with subjective cognitive decline

AU - Verfaillie, Sander C. J.

AU - Witteman, Jurriaan

AU - Slot, Rosalinde E. R.

AU - Pruis, Ilanah J.

AU - Vermaat, Lieke E. W.

AU - Prins, Niels D.

AU - Schiller, Niels O.

AU - van de Wiel, Mark

AU - Scheltens, Philip

AU - van Berckel, Bart N. M.

AU - van der Flier, Wiesje M.

AU - Sikkes, Sietske A. M.

N1 - Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - Self-perceived word-finding difficulties are common in aging individuals as well as in Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Language and speech deficits are difficult to objectify with neuropsychological assessments. We therefore aimed to investigate whether amyloid, an early AD pathological hallmark, is associated with speech-derived semantic complexity. We included 63 individuals with subjective cognitive decline (age 64 ± 8, MMSE 29 ± 1), with amyloid status (positron emission tomography [PET] scans n = 59, or Aβ1-42 cerebrospinal fluid [CSF] n = 4). Spontaneous speech was recorded using three open-ended tasks (description of cookie theft picture, abstract painting and a regular Sunday), transcribed verbatim and subsequently, linguistic parameters were extracted using T-scan computational software, including specific words (content words, frequent, concrete and abstract nouns, and fillers), lexical complexity (lemma frequency, Type-Token-Ratio) and syntactic complexity (Developmental Level scale). Nineteen individuals (30%) had high levels of amyloid burden, and there were no differences between groups on conventional neuropsychological tests. Using multinomial regression with linguistic parameters (in tertiles), we found that high amyloid burden is associated with fewer concrete nouns (ORmiddle (95%CI): 7.6 (1.4–41.2), ORlowest: 6.7 (1.2–37.1)) and content words (ORlowest: 6.3 (1.0–38.1). In addition, we found an interaction for education between high amyloid burden and more abstract nouns. In conclusion, high amyloid burden was modestly associated with fewer specific words, but not with syntactic complexity, lexical complexity or conventional neuropsychological tests, suggesting that subtle spontaneous speech deficits might occur in preclinical AD.

AB - Self-perceived word-finding difficulties are common in aging individuals as well as in Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Language and speech deficits are difficult to objectify with neuropsychological assessments. We therefore aimed to investigate whether amyloid, an early AD pathological hallmark, is associated with speech-derived semantic complexity. We included 63 individuals with subjective cognitive decline (age 64 ± 8, MMSE 29 ± 1), with amyloid status (positron emission tomography [PET] scans n = 59, or Aβ1-42 cerebrospinal fluid [CSF] n = 4). Spontaneous speech was recorded using three open-ended tasks (description of cookie theft picture, abstract painting and a regular Sunday), transcribed verbatim and subsequently, linguistic parameters were extracted using T-scan computational software, including specific words (content words, frequent, concrete and abstract nouns, and fillers), lexical complexity (lemma frequency, Type-Token-Ratio) and syntactic complexity (Developmental Level scale). Nineteen individuals (30%) had high levels of amyloid burden, and there were no differences between groups on conventional neuropsychological tests. Using multinomial regression with linguistic parameters (in tertiles), we found that high amyloid burden is associated with fewer concrete nouns (ORmiddle (95%CI): 7.6 (1.4–41.2), ORlowest: 6.7 (1.2–37.1)) and content words (ORlowest: 6.3 (1.0–38.1). In addition, we found an interaction for education between high amyloid burden and more abstract nouns. In conclusion, high amyloid burden was modestly associated with fewer specific words, but not with syntactic complexity, lexical complexity or conventional neuropsychological tests, suggesting that subtle spontaneous speech deficits might occur in preclinical AD.

UR - https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?partnerID=HzOxMe3b&scp=85067017406&origin=inward

UR - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31075283

U2 - 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2019.05.006

DO - 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2019.05.006

M3 - Article

VL - 131

SP - 184

EP - 192

JO - Neuropsychologia

JF - Neuropsychologia

SN - 0028-3932

ER -