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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 7893975, 7 pages
Research Article

Cognitive or Cognitive-Motor Executive Function Tasks? Evaluating Verbal Fluency Measures in People with Parkinson’s Disease

1Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy Department, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
2ReMove, Rehabilitation in Movement Disorders Research Group, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
3Movement Disorders Clinic, Department of Neurology, Clinics Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil

Correspondence should be addressed to Alessandra Ferreira Barbosa; moc.liamg@rabfela

Received 19 April 2017; Revised 4 July 2017; Accepted 18 July 2017; Published 20 August 2017

Academic Editor: Pablo Mir

Copyright © 2017 Alessandra Ferreira Barbosa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Executive function deficits are observed in people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) from early stages and have great impact on daily living activities. Verbal fluency and oral diadochokinesia involve phonarticulatory coordination, response inhibition, and phonological processing and may also be affected in people with PD. This study aimed to describe the performance of PD patients and an age- and education-matched control group on executive function, verbal fluency, and oral diadochokinesia tests and to investigate possible relationships between them. Methods. Forty people with PD and forty controls were evaluated with Trail Making Test (TMT, executive function) and phonemic/semantic verbal fluency and oral diadochokinesia (/pataka/) tests. Groups were compared by ANOVA and relationships were investigated by Pearson tests. Results. People with PD showed longer times in parts A and B of TMT. They also said fewer words in phonemic/semantic verbal fluency tests and less syllables in the diadochokinesia test. Oral diadochokinesia strongly correlated to parts A and B of TMT and to phonemic verbal fluency. Conclusion. Oral diadochokinesia was correlated to executive function and verbal fluency. The cognitive-motor interaction in verbal fluency and oral diadochokinesia must be considered not to overestimate the cognitive or motor impairments in people with PD.