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Utilizing compensatory task conditions for episodic memory in Alzheimer's disease

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Numerous recent studies have addressed the question of whether memory can be improved in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Evidence from both experimental studies and intervention work suggests that AD exerts a substantial effect not only on memory functioning in general, but also influences the potential for memory improvement. Contrary to previous claims, however, several recent studies indicate that AD patients can utilize cognitive support to improve memory under certain conditions. To achieve performance gains from experimental manipulations or intervention procedures in AD, it appears that cognitive support must be provided at the time of both information acquisition and subsequent information retrieval. In addition, there is evidence that cognitive intervention in AD stands a greater chance of succeeding when the training is based on functions that are relatively well preserved as opposed to functions that are severely impaired.

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg and Stockholm Gerontology Research Center, Stockholm, Sweden

Publication date: April 1, 1996

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