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versión On-line ISSN 1668-7027


GRASSO, Lina  y  PERAITA, Herminia. Evaluation battery for Semantic Memory Deterioration in Dementia of the Alzheimer type (EMSDA): Item's adjustment to the population of Buenos Aires city. Interdisciplinaria [online]. 2011, vol.28, n.1, pp.37-56. ISSN 1668-7027.

In this work some items of the Evaluation Battery for Semantic Memory Deterioration in Alzheimer's Disease, were adapted to be used in the population of Buenos Aires city - República Argentina (EMSDA -in Spanish-, Peraita, González Labra, Sánchez Bernardos, & Galeote Moreno, 2000). The original battery presents a series of tasks, elaborated with the aim of assessing semantic deterioration and/or conceptual memory in patients with Alzheimer's disease. It allows specifically, assessing some features of the semantic visual and verbal knowledge of six categories concerning to living / animated beings and inanimate objects as well as the attributes that organize them. The evaluation of attributes belonging to the categories assessed by the EMSDA is implemented following a conceptual representation model, according to which attributes can be grouped in at least nine common conceptual components for the living things and inanimate objects categories. This conceptual representation model was constructed on the basis of an empirical approximation to the study of formation and representation of natural categories and objects representation (Peraita, Elosúa, & Linares, 1992). The various conceptual components vary in their frequency, according to the level of generality of the categories (superordinate, basic, or subordinate), category type, age, and education level, verifying this tendency in samples of patients with dementia of the Alzheimer´s type (DAT). The purpose of this paper is to present the items adjustment of some tasks of the EMSDA to the population of Buenos Aires city. The battery was administered to 30 healthy elderly between 61 and 88 years and 12 years average of education. The participants were carefully selected to be included in the sample. To rule out cognitive deterioration we did not include participants whose performance in the Mini Mental State Examination and the Wechsler Memory Scale Revised were one standard deviation bellow the expected scoring for age and educational level. To study the items we evaluated the frequency of answers, considering them more suitable when 75% or more participants gave the expected target. This criterion was chosen considering the variables were categorical, and the sample was formed with healthy elderly participants, i.e. without cognitive deterioration. To this preliminary analysis, it was estimated the proportion of correct answers to the six categories belonging to domains of living beings and in animate objects with the original and new items. We observed that some of them did not reach the 75% of agreement, and consistently, we determined to change the following tasks: Picture Naming, Spoken Word / Picture Matching, Sentence Verification, and Semantic Analogies. We selected new items taking into account the structure of the original version of the battery, and their correlations between the tasks. This new items were administered to 28 participants of the original sample. The means of each task were analyzed by Students distribution obtaining higher scorings with the adapted items (p < .0001). It is important to note that the proportion of expected answers to the living / animate and non living / inanimate objects were similar. The same results were observed to the supra ordinate and basic level of the category. However, to study the reliability of these results it would be necessary to explore the items in a larger sample. These preliminary results indicate that the new items can be considered an appropriate adjustment to our social culture context and to determine semantics impairments. This is considered a useful tool for the neuropsychological assessment to investigate the category specific deficits and other cognitive processes.

Palabras clave : Semantic memory assessment; Dementia of the Alzheimer´s type; Normal ageing; Semantic categories.

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