Premorbid (from the Latin, pre- “before” and morbidus “sickly” or morbus “illness”) refers to the functioning of an individual prior to the onset of an acquired disease or illness. While the term premorbid level is most often used in relation to psychological function (e.g., cognitive ability, intelligence, or personality), it can also be used in reference to physical functioning (e.g., premorbid heart rate, premorbid lung function). In the field of communication sciences, levels of speech, voice, resonance, or swallowing function may have been obtained or recorded before the illness and so are often accessible or easily estimated based on comparing the decline with typical function. However, it can be much more difficult to measure premorbid cognitive and linguistic skills because of the large typical range ...

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