Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment: Difference of Memory Profile in Subjects Who Converted or Did Not Convert to Alzheimer's Disease

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Abstract

Episodic long-term, short-term, and implicit memory were investigated in 79 elderly subjects who fulfilled criteria for the amnestic form of mild cognitive impairment (a-MCI; i.e., by having an idiopathic amnestic disorder with absence of impairment in cognitive areas other than memory and without confounding medical or psychiatric conditions) and who developed Alzheimer's disease (AD) after 2 years as well as in 111 subjects affected by a-MCI who did not develop dementia. Results document a memory profile in a-MCI subjects characterized by preserved short-term and implicit memory and extensive impairment of episodic long-term memory. In virtually all episodic memory indexes examined (learning, forgetting, recognition abilities), a-MCI subjects who converted to AD were more severely impaired than were subjects who did not become demented. This memory profile, which closely resembles that exhibited by amnestic patients with bilateral mesial-temporal lobe lesions, confirms a precocious phase in preclinical AD characterized by selective involvement of mesial-temporal areas and worsening of the memory impairment as atrophic changes progress in hippocampal structures. In this context of pervasive episodic memory impairment, tests assessing the free recall of verbal material following a delay interval demonstrated the greater sensitivity to memory deficits of a-MCI subjects who developed AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-558
Number of pages10
JournalNeuropsychology
Volume21
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2007

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • episodic memory
  • implicit memory
  • mild cognitive impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

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