Executive functions assessment in patients with language impairment A systematic review

Abstract Acquired language impairments may accompany different conditions. Most recent studies have shown that there is an important relationship between language and cognitive functions, such as executive functions (EF). Therefore, we aimed to investigate which main EF components appear to have the greatest impact in the most prevalent acquired communication disorders in adults, and which neuropsychological tests are being used to evaluate them. In addition, we sought to characterize the relationship between the executive functions and language in these conditions. Working memory (WM) was the most frequently chosen cognitive measure, being evaluated by different span tasks. A relationship between WM and narrative and conversational discourse, writing abilities and grammatical comprehension was found. Other currently used cognitive tests included the Trail Making, Wisconsin, Stroop and Verbal Fluency tests. Language and EF have a complex relationship; hence, a complete assessment should reflect the dynamic processing of cognitive brain functions.