Usual neuropsychological tests are commonly insufficient to evaluate detailed and fine-grained impairments. Furthermore, behind most of the administered tests, more often than not, a modular (neuro)linguistic theory is absent. We have translated, personalized and custom-made (when necessary) for Italian speakers a neurolinguistic test developed by Caplan and Hildebrandt (1988), in order to evaluate with a good degree of precision language impairments in psychotic syndromes and aphasia. We named this test as Test di Comprensione Linguistica (TCL, Test of Linguistic Comprehension) and to date we have used it with the rationale of judging language deficit in a population of 8 schizophrenic and 2 schizotypal personality disordered (SPD) outpatients. As controls, we tested 10 healthy subjects without history of psychiatric illness matched to our patients for sex, age and education.
The results are consistent with heavy impairments in speech abilities in schizophrenics and SPDs, (patients/controls t-test (considering all TCL parameters): 7.28, p<0.0001).
We are currently carrying out further research using TCL with aphasics and neurodegenerative diseased patients, mainly with patients affected by Steinert syndrome and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
D Caplan and N Hildebrandt. Disorders of Syntactic Comprehension, Cambridge MA, The MIT Press, 1988.