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Emotional arousal enhances declarative memory in patients with Alzheimer’s disease

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Satler C, Garrido LM, Sarmiento EP, Leme S, Conde C, Tomaz C. Emotional arousal enhances declarative memory in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

Acta Neurol Scand 2007: 116: 355–360.

© 2007 The Authors Journal compilation © 2007 Blackwell Munksgaard. Objective – 

To verify whether the long-term retention of an emotionally arousing story is stronger than the retention of a neutral story, and the enhancing effects of emotional arousal on declarative memory in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients. Method – 

Twenty subjects (10 with AD and 10 controls matched for age and educational level) were studied. After the audiovisual presentation (neutral story), the subjects rated the narrative’s emotionality. Later, they answered a multiple-choice questionnaire about the stories. Two weeks later, they watched the emotionally arousing story. Results – 

Subjects who watched the emotionally arousing story assigned a score of emotionality higher than the subjects in the neutral group (P = 0.023). In addition, the participants remembered more details of the arousing story, and had a higher score in the questionnaire (P < 0.001). Conclusions – 

We demonstrated that an emotionally arousing content enhances long-term declarative memory in AD. Furthermore, present finding supports the use of this instrument for clinical and research purposes.
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Keywords: Alzheimer; emotion; memory; stories

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Laboratory of Neurosciences and Behavior, IB, and Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Brasília, Asa Norte, CEP 70910-900, Brasília, DF, Brazil 2: Department of Psychology, Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, Bucaramanga, Santander, Colombia 3: Institute of Psychology, University of Brasília, Brasília, DF, Brazil 4: Faculty of Health Sciences, Universidad Industrial de Santander, Bucaramanga, Santander, Colombia

Publication date: 01 December 2007

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