Neuropsychology, Vol 38(4), May 2024, 322-336; doi:10.1037/neu0000943Objective: The present study explored psycholinguistic analysis of spoken responses produced in a structured interview and cued linguistic and nonlinguistic task switching as possible novel markers of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) risk in Spanish–English bilinguals. Method: Nineteen Spanish–English bilinguals completed an Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) in both languages, cued-switching tasks, and a battery of traditional neuropsychological tests (in a separate testing session). All were cognitively healthy at the time of testing, but eight decliners were later diagnosed with AD (on average 4.5 years after testing; SD = 2.3), while 11 controls remained cognitively healthy. Results: Past studies showed picture naming was more sensitive to AD in the dominant than in the nondominant language, but we found the opposite for a composite measure of spoken utterances produced in the OPI that included revisions, repetitions, and filled pauses (RRFPs), which were especially sensitive to AD risk in the nondominant language. Errors produced on language switch trials best discriminated decliners from controls (in receiver operating characteristic curves), and though the nonlinguistic switching task was also sensitive to AD risk, it elicited more errors overall and was also negatively affected by increased age and low education level. Conclusions: Speaking a nondominant language and errors in cued language switching provided sensitive and specific markers of pending cognitive decline and AD risk in bilinguals. These measures may reflect early decline in executive control abilities that are needed to plan and monitor the production of connected speech and to manage competition for selection between languages. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2024 APA, all rights reserved)

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This post is Copyright: | February 8, 2024
Neuropsychology – Vol 38, Iss 4