Research study: Colour discrimination, colour naming and colour preferences among individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.

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OBJECTIVE: To study the ability of colour naming, colour discrimination and colour preference in Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

DESIGN: Descriptive, consecutive sample.

PARTICIPANTS: Fifty subjects >65 years with AD.

INTERVENTIONS: Testing colour discrimination, colour naming and colour preferences. Main outcome measures. Ability to detect colour differences in the yellow, red, blue and green areas, ability to assign a name to 22 colour samples, ability to rank seven colours in order of preference. Main results– Discrimination ability was significantly better in the yellow and red area and for lightness variations. Cognitive decline had a significant impact on naming mixed colours and using elaborate colour names. Severity of dementia did not affect the preference rank order of colours.

CONCLUSIONS: Ability to discriminate is affected in AD, with most errors in the blue and green area. Naming colours shows a cognitive decline. Preferences for colour are stable despite the disease.

Copyright 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 1999 Dec;14(12):1000-1005.

Department of Geriatric Medicine, Goteborg University, Goteborg, Sweden.

PMID: 10607966

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