Browsing by Subject "Alzheimers sjukdom"

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  • Kangas-Lumme, Jertta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    There is very little research on the effects of memory illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) on the linguistic performance of congenitally deaf sign language users. With spoken language users the effects of AD are often first found in semantics and pragmatics. Deteriorated naming skills are often an early symptom of AD. As the disease progresses the linguistic skills are widely affected and communicating becomes difficult. When studying sign language users results have shown that people with AD have corresponding difficulties of comprehending and producing signed language as spoken language users with Dementia have with spoken language. The aim of this research was to study how two Finnish Sign Language (FSL) users with AD perform in object and action naming tests. The participants were evaluated with the Boston Naming Test (BNT) and the Action Naming Test (ANT) in two consecutive years. Of each performance, the researcher recorded the total score, the number of immediate answers, the time the participant spent on the task and how the answers were given. An analysis of naming errors was made. As a result it was noted that both object and action naming skills of the participants deteriorated as Dementia progressed. Action naming skill were less affected than object naming skill. The participants made more errors and gave less immediate responses in the BNT than in the ANT. Both the signed responses and the method of answering varied with the FSL users with a memory illness: the answers were given either in varying signs, by speaking only or by both speaking and signing simultaneously, or with signs created spontaneously in test situation. Most of the errors were Other errors, especially "I don't know" –answers in both tests. As a result of this study it is clear that there is a need for assessment tests which have been translated into sign language, since the existing naming tests are not necessarily suitable for testing signed language users without a culturally-sensitive translation. This study is the first longitudinal study in Finland focusing on evaluating Finnish Sign Language users with Dementia and the changes in their linguistic skills. It is also one of the first studies internationally on the linguistic changes of sign language users with a memory illness.