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1.  Perception, attention, and working memory are disproportionately impaired in dementia with Lewy bodies compared with Alzheimer's disease 
OBJECTIVE—To test the hypotheses that visuoperceptual and attentional ability are disproportionately impaired in patients having dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) compared with Alzheimer's disease (AD).
METHODS—A comprehensive battery of neuropsychological tasks designed to assess working, episodic, and semantic memory, and visuoperceptual and attentional functions was given to groups of patients with DLB (n=10) and AD (n=9), matched for age, education, and mini mental state examination (MMSE), and to normal controls (n=17).
RESULTS—Both patient groups performed equally poorly on tests of episodic and semantic memory with the exception of immediate and delayed story recall, which was worse in the AD group. Digit span was by contrast spared in AD. The most striking differences were on tests of visuoperceptual/spatial ability and attention. Whereas patients with AD performed normally on several subtests of the visual object and space perception battery, the DLB group showed substantial impairments. In keeping with previous studies, the AD group showed deficits in selective attention and set shifting, but patients with DLB were more impaired on virtually every test of attention with deficits in sustained, selective, and divided attention.
CONCLUSIONS—Patients with DLB have substantially greater impairment of attention, working memory, and visuoperceptual ability than patients with AD matched for overall dementia severity. Semantic memory seems to be equally affected in DLB and AD, unlike episodic memory, which is worse in AD. These findings may have relevance for our understanding of the genesis of visual hallucinations, and the differential diagnosis of AD and DLB.


doi:10.1136/jnnp.70.2.157
PMCID: PMC1737215  PMID: 11160462
2.  Group and case study of the dysexecutive syndrome in alcoholism without amnesia 
OBJECTIVES—To test the dysexecutive syndrome (DES) hypothesis of chronic alcoholism by the neuropsychological group and case study approaches.
METHODS—A comprehensive neuropsychological assessment, including the "behavioural assessment of dysexecutive syndrome", a battery of tests recently designed to be "ecologically valid", was administered to 17 patients with chronic alcoholism without amnesia to examine executive functions, intelligence, and memory. In terms of each neuropsychological measure, reciprocal analyses of group means and individual case profiles were conducted: for the first contrasting the alcoholic patients with 17 age matched healthy subjects; and for the second making intersubject and intrasubject comparison of the patients, according to percentile basis impairment indices obtained from the control subjects.
RESULTS—Despite relatively unimpaired memory and intelligence, the patients as a whole had the impairment of a wide range of executive domains, extending to "everyday" problem solving as well as more elementary aspects of executive functions, such as visuospatial performance, mental set shifting, and the inhibition of habitual behaviour. The profile analysis divided individual patients into four groups: the representative DES characterised by a clear dissociation between impaired executive functions and preserved intelligence and memory; the group of a modified dysexecutive pattern in which memory as well as executive functions were impaired with intelligence preserved; the group of general cognitive deterioration; and the group of unimpaired cognitive functioning. About two thirds of the patients were categorised into either the first or the second type of DES.
CONCLUSION—DES characterised by the even more pronounced impairment of executive functions than of intelligence and memory afflicts a considerable proportion of patients with chronic alcoholism. Due to its subtlety, this would be potentially left out, unless appropriate behavioural measures were administered. This condition may prevent patients with alcoholism from achieving full recovery and benefiting from rehabilitation.


doi:10.1136/jnnp.68.6.731
PMCID: PMC1736975  PMID: 10811696
3.  Bioterrorism 
PMCID: PMC1279302  PMID: 12461158
5.  Disgust implicated in obsessive-compulsive disorder. 
Psychiatric classificatory systems consider obsessions and compulsions as forms of anxiety disorder. However, the neurology of diseases associated with obsessive-compulsive symptoms suggests the involvement of fronto-striatal regions likely to be involved in the mediation of the emotion of disgust, suggesting that dysfunctions of disgust should be considered alongside anxiety in the pathogenesis of obsessive-compulsive behaviours. We therefore tested recognition of facial expressions of basic emotions (including disgust) by groups of participants with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and with Gilles de la Tourette's syndrome (GTS) with an without co-present obsessive-compulsive behaviours (GTS with OCB; GTS without OCB). A group of people suffering from panic disorder and generalized anxiety were also included in the study. Both groups with obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OCD; GTS with OCB) showed impaired recognition of facial expressions of disgust. Such problems were not evident in participants with panic disorder and generalized anxiety, or for participants with GTS without obsessions or compulsions, indicating that the deficit is closely related to the presence of obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Participants with OCD were able to assign words to emotion categories without difficulty, showing that their problem with disgust is linked to a failure to recognize this emotion in others and not a comprehension or response criterion effect. Impaired recognition of disgust is consistent with the neurology of OCD and with the idea that abnormal experience of disgust may be involved in the genesis of obsessions and compulsions.
PMCID: PMC1688750  PMID: 9447734
8.  What is phenomenology? A review. 
PMCID: PMC1292211  PMID: 2685304
10.  A century of psychiatry 
Medical History  1986;30(1):107-108.
PMCID: PMC1139600
11.  "Depressive pseudodementia" or "Melancholic dementia": a 19th century view. 
Nineteenth century views on the interaction between dementia, depressive illness, general paralysis and brain localisation are discussed in the context of a book by A Mairet entitled: Melancholic Dementia. It is shown that by 1883 there was already awareness of the fact that severe affective disorder could lead to cognitive impairment. General paralysis was the commonest diagnosis put forward to account for patients with depression who went on to develop dementia. Patients so diagnosed, however, often recovered and clinical and statistical analysis of Mairet's case histories suggests that some were in fact suffering from depressive pseudodementia. Evidence is marshalled to show that during the 19th century there was wide disagreement concerning the clinical domain, course and even histopathology of general paralysis. This casts doubt on the traditional view that this condition served as "a paradigm" for other psychiatric diseases during this period. It is shown that by the turn of the century these difficulties led to a redefinition of the concept of dementia and to a marked narrowing of the clinical bounds of general paralysis.
PMCID: PMC1028324  PMID: 3889224
12.  Lebenserinnerungen 
Medical History  1984;28(3):337.
PMCID: PMC1139457
14.  Tactile hallucinations: conceptual and historical aspects. 
A brief historical analysis of the general concept of hallucination is presented and the suggestion is made that it emerged as the unwarranted generalisation of a perceptual model that was meant to apply only to vision and the "distance senses". Against this background the evolution of tactile hallucinations is considered and its interaction with 19th century psychological theory explored. It is concluded that tactile hallucinations are sui generis phenomena which do not fit the conventional model and whose clinical identification rests on criteria so far unclear. A brief review of their taxonomy and diagnostic usefulness is presented. Some wider implications are drawn which should be relevant to the general concept of hallucination.
PMCID: PMC491362  PMID: 7042917

Results 1-14 (14)