They highlighted that at early stages of the disease those patients could recall recent memories, but also lasting memories from their youth which tend to disappear as dementia evolves. Mechanisms at the root of this autobiographical memory impairment result from storage deficits combined with faulty retrieval strategies.
Semantic dementia is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by a semantic memory breakdown; this type of memory concerns meanings and understandings about the world, e.g. "Paris is the capital of France" as well as personal semantics. Despite their important semantic deficits, these patients show preserved abilities concerning daily living activities and can recall recent specific personal events, with episodic details, at least at the beginning of the disease. This observation is interesting because it suggests that episodic autobiographical memory referring to both recent and old memories, particular to each individual at the source of personal continuity over time, is preserved in early SD.
Two groups of 7 patients each were studied. One group consisted of SD patients with mild cognitive impairment and the other consisted of patients with moderate cognitive impairment. An autobiographical memory test, called the TEMPau task, was used which assessed general and specific memories across the entire lifetime. Results indicated for the mild subgroup, preserved performances for the most recent time period and a relative preservation of a reminiscence bump, which concerns the surge of vivid and important self-defining episodic memories acquired between 18 and 30 years. In the moderate subgroup, performances were impaired whatever the time period including the most recent one. These results highlight that, with disease severity, episodic memories tend to vanish regardless of their recency.
The implications of these findings are particularly interesting from both theoretical and clinical viewpoints. First, they confirm that the relative preservation of episodic memories in early SD is not just a matter of recency, as frequently proposed. Second, they should provide new avenues on the development of specific methods of rehabilitation of new and old semantic concepts based on episodic autobiographical memory from the last 12 months and the reminiscence bump.
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06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
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Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
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Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...
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Scientists from the MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion report in the first issue of the new journal JOULE.
Cell Press has just released the first issue of Joule, a new journal dedicated to sustainable energy research. In this issue James Birrell, Olaf Rüdiger,...
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