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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 9-14

Lethologica in aging: An analytical study

Department of Audiology and Speech Language Pathology, AWH Special College, Kozhikode, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. P C Girija
AWH Special College, Kerala University of Health Sciences, Kozhikode - 673 003, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jiag.jiag_32_21

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Introduction: Lethologica is a phenomenon that is an early sign of aging. Lethologica refers to the inability to retrieve a specific word as a response to a visual, auditory, or tactile presentation. Need: Even though it is known that aging has a strong impact on cognitive language functions, it is not yet clear which aspect is most affected. Since naming is an important element of language functions, analysis of this aspect would aid in understanding the nature of deterioration of cognitive‒linguistic functions with age. Aim: The aim is to analyze the impact of aging on naming abilities in neurotypical individuals. Methods: One hundred and fifty neurotypical individuals of 30 individuals from each group between 30 and 80 years of age, i.e., 31–40 years, 41–50 years, 51–60 years, 61–70 years, and 71–80 years participated in the study. A tool was developed in Malayalam language to assess confrontation naming, responsive naming, generative naming, and contextual naming. A score of 1 was given for each correct response. Results: As age advances, all the naming abilities deteriorated. The effect was most prominent in the generative naming task as it demands the most cognitive involvement. The neuronal areas governing these cognitive aspects mainly include the prefrontal cortical regions which are highly susceptible to the aging process. Responsive naming and contextual naming were least affected as it gained the advantage of crystallized intelligence. The age-related decline is more prominent after the age of 60 years. Conclusion: Naming skills, even though being a language element also have strong foundations within the cognitive domain. Hence, any age-related neurobiological alterations can impact naming functions.

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