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Cognitive & Behavioral Neurology:
doi: 10.1097/WNN.0b013e3181a7225c
Original Studies

When the Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment Disappears: Characterisation of the Memory Profile

Perri, Roberta MD, PhD*; Carlesimo, Giovanni A. MD, PhD* †; Serra, Laura PsyD, PhD*; Caltagirone, Carlo MD* †; and the Early Diagnosis Group of the Italian Interdisciplinary Network on Alzheimer's Disease

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Abstract

Background/Objectives: Subjects affected by mild cognitive impairment (MCI) may improve during the observation period. This is the first study investigating qualitative features of memory deficits in subjects affected by reversible MCI [reversible cognitive impairment (RCI)].

Methods: Baseline cognitive and memory performances of 18 subjects affected by amnestic MCI who had normalized cognitive performances at follow-ups were compared with those of 76 amnestic MCI subjects who still showed impaired cognitive performances at the 24-month follow-up (MCI) and with those of a group of 87 matched control subjects (normal controls).

Results: Compared with normal controls the memory deficit in the MCI group affected all aspects of explicit long-term memory functioning; in the RCI group, instead, the memory deficit only affected the free recall of verbal material, particularly when the encoding could be improved by the use of semantic strategies.

Conclusions: These results are consistent with the view that the memory deficit in the MCI group is due to a very early degenerative pathology; in the RCI group, instead, a transitory reduction of processing resources, resulting a poor encoding of incoming material, is likely at the origin of the reversible memory disorder.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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