Groups of presenile (n = 41) and senile (n = 97) dementia patients were compared on neuropsychological measures and volumetric estimates of atrophy and ventricular enlargement as depicted on computerized axial tomography. Despite their significantly greater age, the senile patients were not markedly significant different on neuropsychological measures when the effect of education was covaried. Likewise, there were no significant differences between the two groups in terms of cortical atrophy despite that variable's known relationship with age. Ventricular size was not significantly different between groups when age effects were statistically controlled. It is concluded that the pathologic effects of presenile dementia are roughly equivalent to the total of the effects of both the disease and aging processes in senile dementia. Therefore, the disease appears to be more dramatic when it occurs in younger patients. It may be that younger patients are less healthy than older patients presenting with the disease and, consequently, are less able to withstand its effects. The present sample is compared with those of other studies reporting a markedly more pathologic presentation associated with presenile relative to senile dementia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health