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Episodic Memory in Alzheimer Disease, Frontotemporal Dementia, and Dementia With Lewy Bodies/Parkinson Disease Dementia

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Introduction:

Differences in episodic memory performance in patients with Alzheimer disease (AD), frontotemporal dementia (FTD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB)/Parkinson disease with dementia (PDD) are inconsistent and task dependent. The inconsistencies may be attributed to the different tasks drawing on different memory processes. Few studies have examined episodic memory impairment in the above groups using memory tests that facilitate encoding, to distinguish memory deficits due to impairment of specific processes.

Methods:

We examined the memory performance of 106 AD patients, 51 FTD patients, 26 DLB/PDD patients, and 37 controls using the Five-Words Test, a 5-item memory test that facilitates encoding.

Results:

The patient groups did not differ in modified Mini Mental State Examination scores. AD patients scored lowest on the Five-Words Test overall, and showed the greatest reduction from immediate total recall to delayed free recall relative to the other 2 groups, consistent with a predominantly consolidation deficit. DLB/PDD patients showed the largest improvement from delayed free to delayed total recall relative to the other 2 groups, consistent with a predominantly retrieval deficit.

Discussion:

Deficits in both consolidation and retrieval underlie the memory impairment of the patients, to different extents, and contribute to the theoretical understanding of the nature of the memory impairment of the patient groups.
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Keywords: Alzheimer disease; Parkinson disease with dementia; dementia with Lewy bodies; frontotemporal dementia; memory

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, School of Philosophy 2: Cognitive Neurology-Extrapyramidal Disorders Unit, 1st University Department of Neurology, Eginition Hospital, Medical School, University of Athens, Athens, Greece

Publication date: January 1, 2016

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