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Parkinson’s Disease
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 308501, 8 pages
Clinical Study

Are Verbal Fluency and Nonliteral Language Comprehension Deficits Related to Depressive Symptoms in Parkinson’s Disease?

1Département de Réadaptation, Faculté de Médecine, Université Laval, QC, Canada G1V 0A6
2Centre de Recherche Université Laval Robert Giffard, 2601 Rue de la Canardière, Québec, QC, Canada G1J 2G3
3Functional Neuroimaging Unit, Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada H3W 1W5
4École de psychologie, Université Laval, QC, Canada G1V 0A6

Received 23 September 2011; Revised 17 November 2011; Accepted 20 November 2011

Academic Editor: Heinz Reichmann

Copyright © 2012 Christina Tremblay 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.


Depression in Parkinson's disease (PD) is frequently associated with executive deficits, which can influence nonliteral comprehension and lexical access. This study explores whether depressive symptoms in PD modulate verbal fluency and nonliteral language comprehension. Twelve individuals with PD without depressive symptoms, 13 with PD and depressive symptoms (PDDSs), and 13 healthy controls completed a semantic and phonemic verbal fluency task and an indirect speech acts comprehension task. All groups had the same performance in the phonemic fluency task while the PDDS group was impaired in the semantic task. For the indirect speech act comprehension task, no difference was observed between the groups. However, the PDDS group had difficulty answering direct speech act questions. As some language impairments in PD become apparent when depressive symptoms are associated with the disease, it would appear to be important to take the presence of depressive symptoms into account when evaluating language abilities in PD.