Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most frequent cause of dementia, accounting for 55% of all cases. AD patients gradually lose functional capacity, manifesting deficits in attention, language, temporal and direction orientation, mood, socialization and visuospatial function. The visuospatial function entails identification of a stimulus and its location. AD patients can present deficits in visuo-spatial skills during initial stages of the disease, but in the course of clinical evolution this function can become severely impaired. One of the neuropsychological tests indicated to evaluate the visuospatial function is the VOSP (The Visual Object and Space Perception Battery).
The aim of this preliminary study was to detect visuospatial dysfunction in early AD patients using the VOSP, and assess its sensitivity in a Brazilian sample.
Controls outperformed AD patients on all neuropsychological evaluations, except the Corsi block tapping task and cancellation task-errors. The AD patients performed significantly worse on all object perception and two space perception (Number Location and Cube Analyses) subtests of the VOSP.
The AD patients demonstrated impaired visuospatial function in several aspects. The subtests of the VOSP were found to be sensitive for detecting this impairment in mild cases.
dementia; early Alzheimer disease; visuospatial function.