5th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Sydney, Australia
November 30 - December 4, 1998

Assessing High-Level Language In Individuals With Multiple Sclerosis: A Pilot Study

Karin Brunnegaard (1), Katja Laakso (1), Lena Hartelius (1), Elisabeth Ahlsen (2)

(1) Dept. of Logopedics and Phoniatrics, Goteborg University, Goteborg, Sweden
(2) Dept. of Linguistics, Goteborg University, Goteborg, Sweden

This study describes the development of a test battery to assess high-level language function in Swedish and a description of the test performances of a group of 9 individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). The test battery included tasks such as repetition of long sentences, understanding of complicated logico-grammatical sentences, naming famous people, resolving ambiguities, recreating sentences, understanding metaphors, making inferences, defining words. The MS group included individuals with self-reported language problems as well as individuals without any such problems. Their performances were compared to a group of 7 control subjects with a Kruskal-Wallis one-way ANOVA which indicated significantly different total mean scores. Post hoc analysis with Mann-Whitney U-tests revealed that the group with self-reported language problems had significantly lower mean scores when compared to control subjects and to MS subjects without self-reported language problems. None of the language difficulties were detected by a standard aphasia test.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Brunnegaard, Karin / Laakso, Katja / Hartelius, Lena / Ahlsen, Elisabeth (1998): "Assessing high-level language in individuals with multiple sclerosis: a pilot study", In ICSLP-1998, paper 0496.