Symposium V: Molecular basis of neuromuscular disease

  • Published 2004 in Journal of Neurology


psychoorganic syndrome disguised as the equally unidimensional construct of dementia. Neuropsychological analysis may reveal various combinations of cognitive deficit while other performances are relatively well preserved in a given patient. Examples of functions that can be assessed are selective and sustained attention, material specific learning/memory, working memory and retrograde remembrance, verbal and figural fluency, recognition of and adherence to implicit roles, capacity of information processing and psychomotor speed. In addition, language performance is investigated beyond the traditional types of aphasia, in particular with regard to the domain of semantics. Praxic, spatial, and visual functions are examined in great detail. An important area of research is the possible interaction of sets of deficit. In my view there is no advantage in introducing soft variables, like emotional or psychosocial behaviour, that are affected in very many disease states. It appears important to study the richness of cognitive decline with the precision made possible by the advances in neuropsychology. Minitests that are easy to administer and to evaluate are not appropriate tools. Incidentally, they are heavily weighted towards language functions. Why should the congnitive functions of a patient be assessed in 15 minutes by crude measures before the same patient is then examined in a sophisticated machine where qualified specialists study metabolic processes in his brain? The accomplishments of neuropsychology should not be ignored in dementia research because there are three important challenges: differential diagnosis, social counselling for the patient and possibly development of rehabilitation procedures, i.e. neuropsychological training programmes comparable to speech therapy.

DOI: 10.1007/BF00582823

Cite this paper

@article{2004SymposiumVM, title={Symposium V: Molecular basis of neuromuscular disease}, author={}, journal={Journal of Neurology}, year={2004}, volume={237}, pages={S91-S92} }