Background: Posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) is a degenerative disease characterized by progressive visual agnosia with posterior cerebral atrophy. We examine the role of the picture naming test and make a number of suggestions with regard to diagnosing PCA as atypical dementia. Methods: We investigated 3 cases of early-stage PCA with 7 control cases of Alzheimer disease (AD). The patients and controls underwent a naming test with real objects and colored photographs of familiar objects. We then compared rates of correct answers. Results: Patients with early-stage PCA showed significant inability to recognize photographs compared to real objects (F = 196.284, p = 0.0000) as measured by analysis of variants. This difficulty was also significant to AD controls (F = 58.717, p = 0.0000). Conclusion: Picture agnosia is a characteristic symptom of early-stage PCA, and the picture naming test is useful for the diagnosis of PCA as atypical dementia at an early stage.
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