Coherence of discourse of individuals with mild cognitive impairment: Relationships between language and memory.
The objective of this study is to uncover the relationship between cognitive deterioration and language performance in populations with dementia. The method used for this protocol does not require that words and grammar be taken into consideration but rather investigates coherence of discourse, which has the potential to be applied to studies of languages other than English with minimal need for adaptation of the test due to linguistic restrictions. The validation of this method on a second language can lead to the development of diagnostic tools for early detection of dementia, which can be used in multilingual populations or with varying degrees of literacy. We anticipate that this approach will also provide the basis for the development of automated analyses of patient discourse, with the possibility of becoming an extremely useful diagnostic tool. We also expect to inform practice and aid the development of new therapies.