Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Natural speech markers of Alzheimer's disease co-pathology in Lewy body dementias.

Shellikeri S, Cho S, Cousins KAQ, Liberman M, Howard E, Balganorth Y, Weintraub D, Spindler M, Deik A, Lee EB, Trojanowski JQ, Irwin D, Wolk D, Grossman M, Nevler N. Natural speech markers of Alzheimer's disease co-pathology in Lewy body dementias. Parkinsonism & Related Disorders. 2022 Sep 1; 102:94-100.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


INTRODUCTION: An estimated 50% of patients with Lewy body dementias (LBD), including Parkinson''s disease dementia (PDD) and Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), have co-occurring Alzheimer''s disease (AD) that is associated with worse prognosis. This study tests an automated analysis of natural speech as an inexpensive, non-invasive screening tool for AD co-pathology in biologically-confirmed cohorts of LBD patients with AD co-pathology (SYN + AD) and without (SYN-AD). METHODS: We analyzed lexical-semantic and acoustic features of picture descriptions using automated methods in 22 SYN + AD and 38 SYN-AD patients stratified using AD CSF biomarkers or autopsy diagnosis. Speech markers of AD co-pathology were identified using best subset regression, and their diagnostic discrimination was tested using receiver operating characteristic. ANCOVAs compared measures between groups covarying for demographic differences and cognitive disease severity. We tested relations with CSF tau levels, and compared speech measures between PDD and DLB clinical disorders in the same cohort. RESULTS: Age of acquisition of nouns (p  =  0.034, d  =  0.77) and lexical density (p  =  0.0064, d  =  0.72) were reduced in SYN + AD, and together showed excellent discrimination for SYN + AD vs. SYN-AD (95% sensitivity, 66% specificity; AUC  =  0.82). Lower lexical density was related to higher CSF t-Tau levels (R  =  -0.41, p  =  0.0021). Clinically-diagnosed PDD vs. DLB did not differ on any speech features. CONCLUSION: AD co-pathology may result in a deviant natural speech profile in LBD characterized by specific lexical-semantic impairments, not detectable by clinical disorder diagnosis. Our study demonstrates the potential of automated digital speech analytics as a screening tool for underlying AD co-pathology in LBD.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.