Semantic Memory

Due to advances in the early detection of Alzheimer's disease (AD) biomarkers including beta-amyloid (Aβ), neuropsychological measures that are sensitive to concurrent, subtle changes in cognition are critically needed. Story recall tasks have shown sensitivity to early memory declines in persons with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and early stage dementia, as well as in persons with autosomal dominantly inherited AD up to 10 years prior to a dementia diagnosis. However, the evidence is inconclusive regarding relationships between evidence of Aβ and story recall measures.
Background: Memory for music has attracted much recent interest in Alzheimer's disease but the underlying brain mechanisms have not been defined in patients directly. Here we addressed this issue in an Alzheimer's disease cohort using activation fMRI of two core musical memory systems. Methods: We studied 34 patients with younger onset Alzheimer's disease led either by episodic memory decline (typical Alzheimer's disease)or by visuospatial impairment (posterior cortical atrophy)in relation to 19 age-matched healthy individuals.