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Adult Assessments and Interventions - 
Elderly Rehabilitation

Location Learning Test (LLT)
Romola S Bucks, Jonathan R Willison and Lucie M T Byrne, 2000

Overview:
Test visuo-spatial learning and delayed 
recall in the elderly and those with 
suspected dementia

Age Range:
Elderly Adult

Administration:
Individual - 25 minutes


Memory complaints are often the first indicators of an impending dementia. Both visual and verbal memory systems are affected, yet most existing memory tests are typically verbal in nature. However, if a diagnosis of dementia that accurately reflects the degree and nature of neuropsychological deficits is to be achieved, it is important to develop appropriate non-verbal tests (Bucks & Willison, 1997). The LLT measures visuo-spatial learning and recall. It evaluates the ability to learn the spatial location of a series of everyday objects. It also offers a measure of delayed recall. By combining these measures, the LLT enables clinicians and researchers to identify a participant who is likely to be suffering from an acquired difficulty with learning and retaining new spatial information.

Visuospatial memory deficits appear to be a feature of a wide range of neurological disorders, all of which appear to be associated with specific damage to hippocampal structures including the parahippocampal gyri. These include patients with parkinsonism and Parkinsonís disease (Giraudo, Gayraud & Habib, 1997; Sahakian, Morris, Evenden, Heald, Levy, Philpot, et al., 1988; Pillon, Ertle, Deweer, Bonnet, Vidailhet & Dubois, 1997), Korsakovís (MacAndrew, & Jones, 1993), schizophrenia (Wood, Proffitt, Mahony, Smith, Buchanan, Brewer, et al., 2002), stroke (Kessels, Kappelle, De Haan, & Postma, 2002), and right temporal lobectomy (Nunn, Polkey, & Morris, 1998). Finally, those with other types of dementia such as Diffuse Lewy Body disease appear to show particular difficulties with visuospatial learning tasks (Galloway, Sahgal, McKeith, Lloyd, Cook, Ferrier et al., 1992). These results suggest that the LLT may prove useful in the clinical and research assessment of a number of conditions.

In addition, the LLT may be particularly sensitive to changes early in the disease course. Research has suggested that the pathologically underlying AD develops long before the patient fulfils the diagnostic criteria, particularly in the parahippocampal region (Nadel, 2000). Other tests of visuo-spatial learning have been shown to correlate with measures of global cognitive decline in individuals with mild cognitive impairment but no dementia (Fowler, Saling, Conway, Semple, & Louis, 1997; Swainson, Hodges, Galton, Semple, Michael, Dunn et al., 2001) and to predict subsequent conversion to dementia in individuals with questionable dementia (Blackwell, Sahakian, Vesey, Semple, Robbins & Hodges, 2003).
 


Available Products

Materials

Complete kit: Includes manual, 25 scoring sheets, test grids, practice grids and picture cards.
Additional copies of materials:
Scoring sheets, pack of 50