Reading Comprehension in Parkinson's Disease Purpose Although individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD) self-report reading problems and experience difficulties in cognitive–linguistic functions that support discourse-level reading, prior research has primarily focused on sentence-level processing and auditory comprehension. Accordingly, the authors investigated the presence and nature of reading comprehension in PD, hypothesizing that (a) individuals with PD ... Supplement Article
Supplement Article  |   May 01, 2014
Reading Comprehension in Parkinson's Disease
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Laura L. Murray
    Indiana University, Bloomington
  • Stefanie Rutledge
    Indiana University, Bloomington
  • 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 Laura L. Murray: lmurray@indiana.edu
  • Editor: Swathi Kiran
    Editor: Swathi Kiran×
  • Associate Editor: Leonard LaPointe
    Associate Editor: Leonard LaPointe×
Article Information
Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Supplement: Select Papers From the 43rd Clinical Aphasiology Conference
Supplement Article   |   May 01, 2014
Reading Comprehension in Parkinson's Disease
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2014, Vol. 23, S246-S258. doi:10.1044/2014_AJSLP-13-0087
History: Received August 5, 2013 , Revised October 22, 2013 , Accepted October 24, 2013
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2014, Vol. 23, S246-S258. doi:10.1044/2014_AJSLP-13-0087
History: Received August 5, 2013; Revised October 22, 2013; Accepted October 24, 2013

Purpose Although individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD) self-report reading problems and experience difficulties in cognitive–linguistic functions that support discourse-level reading, prior research has primarily focused on sentence-level processing and auditory comprehension. Accordingly, the authors investigated the presence and nature of reading comprehension in PD, hypothesizing that (a) individuals with PD would display impaired accuracy and/or speed on reading comprehension tests and (b) reading performances would be correlated with cognitive test results.

Method Eleven adults with PD and 9 age- and education-matched control participants completed tests that evaluated reading comprehension; general language and cognitive abilities; and aspects of attention, memory, and executive functioning.

Result The PD group obtained significantly lower scores on several, but not all, reading comprehension, language, and cognitive measures. Memory, language, and disease severity were significantly correlated with reading comprehension for the PD group.

Conclusion Individuals in the early stages of PD without dementia or broad cognitive deficits can display reading comprehension difficulties, particularly for high- versus basic-level reading tasks. These reading difficulties are most closely related to memory, high-level language, and PD symptom severity status. The findings warrant additional research to delineate further the types and nature of reading comprehension impairments experienced by individuals with PD.

Acknowledgments
This study was funded in part by the 2011 ASHA Students Preparing for Academic and Research Careers (SPARC) Award, awarded to the second author. We thank the members of the Fort Wayne, IN, Parkinson's Support Group and research assistant Sarah McNeil.
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