Although subjective complaints of word finding and naming deficits are commonly reported by patients with
Lyme Borreliosis (LB), the existence of these disturbances has not been thoroughly investigated. Forty-four patients with LB and 43 healthy controls were administered a symptom questionnaire, the Boston Naming Test (BNT), the Controlled Oral Word Association Test (COWAT), and a series of category naming tasks. LB patients had a higher rate of complaints of word-finding disturbance (55% vs. 14%). Lower mean scores were observed on the BNT, but not on the COWAT, nor on category naming tasks. Thirty-six percent of the LB sample exhibited BNT scores in the impaired range. BNT scores in this group were correlated with a measure of memory retrieval, but not with verbal fluency indexes. There was no relation between naming scores and depression. LB patients exhibit impairments in word finding that appear to be secondary to a generalized retrieval deficit.