Author(s): Judith Butman, Ricardo F Allegri
Spanish verbal fluency test. Normative data in Argentina. Letter and category fluency tasks are used to ASSESS semantic knowledge, retrieval ability, and Executive Functioning. The Original normative data Have Been Obtained mainly from Inglés speaking Populations; there are few papers on Norms in other languages. The purpose of esta study was to collect normative scores in Argentina and to Evaluate the effects of sex, age, education and cognitive status on the letter and category fluency tasks, in 266 healthy Spanish-speaking Participants (16 to 86 years). Mean education span was 12.8 ± 4 years. In each subject a neuropsychological battery (Mini - Mental State Exam, Signoret Memory Battery, Boston Naming Test and Trail Making Test) was Carried out as well as category fluency (naming animals in one minute) and letter fluency (words begining with letter 'p' in one minute). The sample was arranged into a group of subjects with Less than 45 years and up to 10 further groups more years, until , 75 years (or more) With three different levels of education. Were found significant effects for age, education, and Mini - Mental State Exam on performance of Both fluencies. Mean performance scores are presented for each group to be used in Argentina. Verbal fluency is the ability to produce fluent speech spontaneously without excessive breaks or fails in finding words. This skill is usually measured through testing where it requests the subject within a limited time (usually one minute), generate as many words belonging to a restricted category. In tests of verbal fluency semantics, the task is to produce words belonging to the same semantic field (eg. Animals), whereas in tests of phonological influence the subject must generate words that begin with a preset letter by the examiner (eg. "p" or "f"). These neuropsico-logical tests provide information about the storage capacity of semantic mnemonic system, the ability to retrieve information stored in memory and Indemnity of executive functions, particularly through the ability to organize thinking and strategies used search for words 1 . This ability to generate words reflects the activity of the frontal brain regions (executive functions) and temporal (semantic mnemonic system) of the left hemisphere 2 . Verbal fluency appears altered in multiple pathological processes, such as the dege-gies dementias (Alzheimer's dementia or dementia fronto-temporal) 3, 4 , frontal lesions (especially left or bilateral) 2, 5 and psychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia 6 and depression in July . The right - handed patients with right hemisphere lesion show no deterioration in this test 8, 9 . The importance ascribed to the verbal fluency as a primary test in detecting dementias, is due to the simplicity and speed of administration, which leads to it to be included as a regular part of all neuropsychological evaluation in January . The original normative data from these tests were done on samples Saxon 10, 11 and there are few studies with regulations in other languages 12-14 . To our knowledge there are no standards for these tests in the area of the Rio de la Plata. The aim of this study is to provide normative data semantic and phonemic fluency in a sample of normal subjects Argentina and evaluate the influence of age, sex, schooling, and cognitive status in performing the test.