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Vol. 68, No. 1, 2012
Issue release date: July 2012
Eur Neurol 2012;68:34–41

Picture Agnosia as a Characteristic of Posterior Cortical Atrophy

Sugimoto A. · Midorikawa A. · Koyama S. · Futamura A. · Hieda S. · Kawamura M.
aDepartment of Neurology, Showa University School of Medicine, bDepartment of Psychology, Faculty of Letters, Chuo University, Tokyo, and cDepartment of Design Science, Graduate School of Engineering, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan

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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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