Yes/no reversals as neurobehavioral sequela: A disorder of language, praxis, or inhibitory control?

Carol Frattali, J. R. Duffy, I. Litvan, A. D. Patsalides, J. Grafman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


This study identifies a linguistic phenomenon suggestive of damage to fronto-subcortical circuitry. Our objective was to determine the occurrence and neuroradiological/neurobehavioral correlates of yes/no reversals in corticobasal degeneration (CBD), and document occurrence of reversals in other neurological conditions. In a prospective study, we evaluated 34 CBD patients using a neuropsychologic battery and magnetic resonance imaging. Patients were subdivided into two groups: those with (n = 11) and without (n = 23) yes/no reversals. In a retrospective study conducted during the period of 1991-2001, we identified 33 patients for whom yes/no reversals occurred to compare correlates with prospective study findings. In the prospective study, 11 patients (32.3%) had yes/no reversals. Significant between-group differences were found in scores of lexical fluency (P = 0.02) and prehension (P = 0.03). Prehension scores correlated with facial praxis (P < 0.0001) and upper limb praxis scores (P < 0.0001) in the yes/no reversal group only. In the retrospective study, nine CBD patients and 24 non-CBD patients had yes/no reversals, with damage to fronto-subcortical areas present in all patients. Results suggest an association with deficits in mental flexibility and inhibitory control. High within-group correlations of lexical fluency and prehension with praxis scores suggest a relationship of yes/no reversals with multiple factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-106
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2003


  • Inhibitory control
  • Language
  • Neurocognitive disorders
  • Praxis
  • Yes/no reversals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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