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Logo of behavneuroBehavioural Neurology
 
Behav Neurol. 2012; 25(1): 45–52.
Published online 2011 December 29. doi:  10.3233/BEN-2012-0352
PMCID: PMC5294273

Decision Making Cognition in Primary Progressive Aphasia

Abstract

We sought to investigate the decision making profile of Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA) by assessing patients diagnosed with this disease (n = 10), patients diagnosed with behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD, n = 35), and matched controls (n = 14) using the Iowa Gambling Task, a widely used test that mimics real-life decision making. Participants were also evaluated with a complete neuropsychological battery. Patients with PPA were unable to adopt an advantageous strategy on the IGT, which resulted in a flat performance, different to that exhibited by both controls (who showed advantageous decision making) and bvFTD patients (who showed risk-appetitive behavior). The decision making profile of PPA patients was not associated with performance on language tasks and did not differ between sub-variants of the disease (namely, semantic dementia and progressive nonfluent aphasia). Investigating decision making in PPA is crucial both from a theoretical perspective, as it can shed light about the way in which language interacts with other cognitive functions, as well as a clinical standpoint, as it could lead to a more objective detection of impairments of decision making deficits in this condition.


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