The Auditory Naming Test Improves Diagnosis of Naming Deficits in Dementia

Joseph A. Hirsch, George M. Cuesta, Barry D. Jordan, Pasquale Fonzetti, Leann Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Many patients with presumptive Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or other dementias may show minimal impairment on the Boston Naming Test (BNT), a visual confrontation naming measure. We sought to determine whether a semantic naming test, the Auditory Naming Test (ANT), would improve accuracy for identifying naming deficits in patients diagnosed with dementia (N = 458) at an outpatient memory disorders clinic. Factor analysis revealed that both tests measured the same broad construct. Frequency of naming impairment with the ANT was significantly greater than with the BNT for patients with AD, regardless of dementia severity or levels of education (p <.01). Effect size was moderate (φ = 0.45). BNT but not ANT performance declined with age in patients with AD. Sex differences were found for the BNT, but not the ANT, in the AD population. Accuracy rate of naming impairment diagnosis with the ANT in patients with AD was good (72%). Specificity (81%) and positive predictive value (PPV) (89%) with the ANT in AD were excellent, whereas sensitivity (69%) and negative predictive value (NPV) (58%) were modest. Receiver operating characteristic with area under the curve (ROC AUC) was excellent (0.958). A similar pattern was seen in patients with vascular dementia (VaD) or mixed AD/VaD. There was no significant effect in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). It is concluded that the ANT substantially improves the ability to diagnose naming impairment in patients with AD, VaD, and mixed AD/VaD dementia, and should be included in a neuropsychological battery administered to elderly patients with suspected dementia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSAGE Open
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • anomia
  • assessment of cognitive disorders/dementia
  • naming
  • neuropsychology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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