Visuoconstructional problems in dementia: contribution of executive systems functions

Neuropsychology. 2000 Jul;14(3):415-26. doi: 10.1037//0894-4105.14.3.415.


Visuoconstructional ability was assessed by asking patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease (AD), ischaemic vascular dementia (IVD), and Parkinson's disease (PD) and a normal control group (NC) to copy a modification of the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure (M-ROCF). The drawings of the NC group were superior to all dementia participants. AD patients generally outperformed IVD and PD patients; however, there were few differences between IVD and PD groups. Nonetheless, the drawings of IVD and PD patients were very fragmented and contained numerous perseverations and omissions. Despite these errors, patients with IVD and PD obtained higher delayed recognition memory scores than AD patients. Correlational analyses among dementia patients between neuropsychological tests and the copy of the M-ROCF found that accurate figure copy was most consistently correlated with tests of working memory, that is, tests requiring patients to monitor their behavior and sustain a complex mental set while performing mental manipulations. By contrast, no relationship between executive function tests related to measures of response selection/inhibition or other domains of neuropsychological functioning was found.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Dementia / psychology*
  • Female
  • Form Perception / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Parkinson Disease / complications
  • Parkinson Disease / psychology
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*