Semantic profiles in mild cognitive impairment associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases

Marco Guidi, Lucia Paciaroni, Susy Paolini, Osvaldo Scarpino, David J. Burn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The temporal and the prefrontal cortices have different roles in semantic information processing: the temporal lobe is where knowledge is stored (Graham and Hodges, 1997), whereas the prefrontal cortex is more specifically involved in executive aspects of semantic processing. Relatively little is known about the semantic profiles of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD). This observational study investigated naming and semantic questionnaire performances in three groups of subjects: 10 patients with the amnestic-type MCI prodrome of AD (aMCI), 10 patients with early-stage executive-type MCI in PD (MCI-PD), and 10 normal subjects. The MCI-PD subjects demonstrated inferior performances on a semantic questionnaire, whereas the aMCI group displayed modest difficulties in a naming task. These differences may be explained by topographical differences in pathological involvement. Since the frontal areas are more functionally impaired in PD, we hypothesize that the semantic deficit may be a consequence of a deficiency in control of semantic processing. On the other hand, the semantic deficit in aMCI may be related to a lexical-semantic storage dysfunction resulting from pathological involvement of the temporal lobe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-118
Number of pages6
JournalFunctional Neurology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Lexical damage
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Semantic damage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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