We describe the neuropsychological data from two cases of dementia of motor neuron disease. In both cases, a gradually progressive presenile dementia began prior to the development of motor neuron disease involving predominantly bulbar musculature. These data, along with the neuropathologic findings available in one case, suggest that dementia of motor neuron disease differs from that of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Both patients displayed major alterations of personality and comportment. Neuropsychological test results revealed marked attention deficits, particularly on tasks requiring sustained effort and on those requiring ability to shift from one line of thinking to another. Confrontation naming, verbal fluency, insight, and judgment also showed extensive impairment. By contrast, verbal and nonverbal memory remained intact after several years of illness. This pattern is quite different from that seen in AD, where memory deficits are salient.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology