Cognitive Performance Deficits and Dysgraphia in Alzheimer’s Disease Patients

Emanuela Onofri 1, Marco Mercuri 1, MariaLucia Salesi 1, Max Rapp Ricciardi 2, Trevor Archer*, 2
1 Department of Anatomy, Histology, Legal Medicine and Orthopaedics, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy
2 Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

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© Onofri et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Box 500, SE-40530 Gothenburg, Sweden; Tel: +46 7864694; Fax: +46 7864628; E-mail:



Agraphia or dysgraphia, observed often in early AD, encompasses a progressive disorganization and degeneration of the various components of handwriting.


Deficits in writing ability, dysgraphia, and the relationship with other measures of cognitive decline were studied in a group of 30 patients, originating from the Lazio region, Rome, Italy, presenting a moderate to relatively severe stage of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Extent of dysgraphia and cognitive performance was compared with a matched group of healthy controls selected from the same region.


Several markedly strong relationships between dysgraphia and several measures of cognitive performance in AD patients were observed concomitant with consistent deficits by this patient sample in comparison with the matched group of healthy control subjects were obtained. Additionally, several measures of loss of functional integrity, MMSE, ADL and IADL, were found to be associated with both dysgraphia and impairments in cognitive performance.


The present results are discussed from the notion of affected brain regions underlying functions in cognition, language and motor domains that are disturbed in AD.

Keywords: AD, ADL, cognitive tests, correlations, D∆, deficits, dysgraphia, IADL, MMSE, PQ1..