Formulaic Language in Parkinson's Disease and Alzheimer's Disease: Complementary Effects of Subcortical and Cortical Dysfunction Purpose The production of formulaic expressions (conversational speech formulas, pause fillers, idioms, and other fixed expressions) is excessive in the left hemisphere and deficient in the right hemisphere and in subcortical stroke. Speakers with Alzheimer's disease (AD), having functional basal ganglia, reveal abnormally high proportions of formulaic language. Persons with ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2015
Formulaic Language in Parkinson's Disease and Alzheimer's Disease: Complementary Effects of Subcortical and Cortical Dysfunction
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Diana Van Lancker Sidtis
    New York University
    Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, NY
  • JiHee Choi
    Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, NY
  • Amy Alken
    Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, NY
    St. John's University, Jamaica, NY
  • John J. Sidtis
    Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, NY
    New York University Langone Medical Center
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Diana Van Lancker Sidtis: diana.sidtis@nyu.edu
  • Editor: Rhea Paul
    Editor: Rhea Paul×
  • Associate Editor: Kristine Lundgren
    Associate Editor: Kristine Lundgren×
Article Information
Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Normal Language Processing / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2015
Formulaic Language in Parkinson's Disease and Alzheimer's Disease: Complementary Effects of Subcortical and Cortical Dysfunction
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2015, Vol. 58, 1493-1507. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-14-0341
History: Received December 5, 2014 , Revised March 13, 2015 , Accepted April 19, 2015
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2015, Vol. 58, 1493-1507. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-14-0341
History: Received December 5, 2014; Revised March 13, 2015; Accepted April 19, 2015
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose The production of formulaic expressions (conversational speech formulas, pause fillers, idioms, and other fixed expressions) is excessive in the left hemisphere and deficient in the right hemisphere and in subcortical stroke. Speakers with Alzheimer's disease (AD), having functional basal ganglia, reveal abnormally high proportions of formulaic language. Persons with Parkinson's disease (PD), having dysfunctional basal ganglia, were predicted to show impoverished formulaic expressions in contrast to speakers with AD. This study compared participants with PD, participants with AD, and healthy control (HC) participants on protocols probing production and comprehension of formulaic expressions.

Method Spontaneous speech samples were recorded from 16 individuals with PD, 12 individuals with AD, and 18 HC speakers. Structured tests were then administered as probes of comprehension.

Results The PD group had lower proportions of formulaic expressions compared with the AD and HC groups. Comprehension testing yielded opposite contrasts: participants with PD showed significantly higher performance compared with participants with AD and did not differ from HC participants.

Conclusions The finding that PD produced lower proportions of formulaic expressions compared with AD and HC supports the view that subcortical nuclei modulate the production of formulaic expressions. Contrasting results on formal testing of comprehension, whereby participants with AD performed significantly worse than participants with PD and HC participants, indicate differential effects on procedural and declarative knowledge associated with these neurological conditions.

Acknowledgment
This work was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant RO1 DC007658.
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