memory impairments

F. Frank LeFever flefever at ix.netcom.com
Wed Feb 26 22:56:19 EST 1997


In <330FFBAA.1756 at correo.cop.es> María José López-Ibor
<libor at correo.cop.es> writes: 
>
>I would like to recieve information about what kind of memory test I
can 
>use in aneurysm patients and brain injuries. Sorry my english. Thank
you
>
>
This will require an answer much too long for posting!  One of the
activities of the New York Neuropsychology Group is our Task Force on
problems of testing Spanish-speaking patients, which meets monthly at
St. Vincent's Medical Center, in New York City.  We are interested in
the more general problem of neuropsychological testing of other groups
not served by commercially available tests in the US, but
Spanish-speaking patients have so far occupied most of our attention.

Before I go any further, let me also call to your attention the
relevant committee of the International Neuropsychological Society,
headed by Dr. Lydia Artiola, of Tucson, Arizona.

She's at:  tibet at azstarnet.com  
If she's changed address,
 INS may have update: ins at postbox.acs.ohio-state.edu

INS webpage: http://axon.med.ohio-state.edu/ins/

SOME BASICS: 
No matter what test you use, it does not suffice simply to translate it
into Spanish (e.g. from English); at the very least, it must then be
administered to normal people of the same age and general
educational/social background of the patients you will test, in order
to get appropriate local "norms".  That is, you need to find out what
is a normal performance is in your population, and how much
performances vary among them.

You might have to re-think the test, and do a re-writing, not just a
translation, to be more appropriate for your culture.

Where ARE you, anyway?  Your address ends "es" but I'm afraid I'm
ignorant of wht couuntry that is. Possibly I and/or Lydia know of
neuropsychologists in  your country or nearby.

MORE BASICS: You should consider both verbal and nonverbal memory
tests.  You should consider examining non-memory verbal and nonverbal
functions which might influence memory test performance.  If the
aneurysms are anterior communicating artery, you might consider testing
"frontal" functions which can directly or indirectly influence memory
performances. 

re NONVERBAL MEMORY: this by default means "visual" inasmuch as we do
not have good nonverbal auditory memory tests. 

 By coincidence, last night, at the NY Academy of Sciences, William
Barr spoke to the NYNG meeting on nonverbal memory, describing the
overwhelming failure of the most commonly used nonverbal memory test in
the US, the design reproduction parts of the Wechsler Memory
Scale--Revised to differentiate between right and left temporal
epileptic foci.  One problem may be that verbal descriptions can help
one "cheat" on this "nonverbal" task. 

 Another may be failure to consider dorsal vs. ventral visual streams,
and the difference between "where" and "what" regarding visual stimuli.

The test Dr. Kumkova and I presented at the Seattle meeting of INS
attempts to test both in the same test, separately; some
eplileptologists reported on prelimiinary work with it at the Orlando
INS meeting early this month.

A small study I did suggested that the contrast between Word and Face
recognition in Warrington's Recognition Memory Test (RMT) discriminates
can identify left vs. right epileptigenic  foci, but others have
questioned this.  in GENERAL, though, faces seem prommising as a
nonverbalizable nonverbal visual meemory test.

I developed a Spanish version of the Word portion of the RMT (I call it
ReMeTe), and some members of the Task Force are trying to develop norms
now.  If you have the RMT, you could perhaps try using the Face section
together with my ReMeTe--but you would have to get local norms, in YOUR
country, for BOTH!

Lydia has a Spanish verbal memory test with norms for some
populations--probably Mexican or Mexican-US (Arizona? California? etc.)
--ask her!

There is much, much more, but e-mmail me if you want more, or 
FAX: usa (914)947-3350

Frank LeFever
New York Neuropsychology Group




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