Probable Alzheimer's disease patients presenting as focal temporal lobe dysfunction show a slow rate of cognitive decline

Camillo Marra, Giampiero Villa, Davide Quaranta, Alessandro Valenza, Maria Gabriella Vita, Guido Gainotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Several authors have recently shown that anterograde amnesia is often associated with semantic memory impairment in amnesic MCI patients. Similarly, after the MCI condition, some patients who convert to Alzheimer's disease (AD) show the classic onset (cAD) characterized by the impairment of memory and executive functions, whereas other AD patients show isolated defects of episodic and semantic memory without deficits in other cognitive domains. The latter have been considered an AD variant characterized by focal Temporal Lobe Dysfunction(TLD). The aim of the present study was to assess the differences in disease progression between cAD and TLD. For this purpose a continuous series of newly diagnosed probable AD patients presenting as cAD (n = 30) and TLD (n = 25), matched for severity, and 65 healthy controls underwent a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation at baseline; TLD and cAD were re-evaluated at a 24-month follow-up. At follow-up, TLD patients showed no significant worsening of cognitive functions, whereas cAD subjects displayed a significant worsening in all explored cognitive domains. In conclusion, our results confirm that probable AD presenting as TLD represents a specific onset of AD characterized by a slower rate of progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-150
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012


  • Alzheimer's disease progression
  • Cognitive decline
  • Focal onset Alzheimer's disease
  • Memory impairment
  • Neuropsychology
  • Semantic disturbance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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