Although there is a large body of research demonstrating the negative effects of Alzheimer disease (AD) on autobiographical memory (ie, memory of personal information), little is known about sex differences in autobiographical retrieval in AD.
We addressed this issue by inviting patients with AD and healthy control participants to retrieve autobiographical memories and analyzed them with regard to specificity, subjective experience (ie, time travel, emotion, and visual imagery), and retrieval time.
Analyses demonstrated no significant differences between women and men with AD with regard to autobiographical specificity, time travel, visual imagery, or retrieval time. However, the higher emotional value was attributed to memories by women with AD than by men with AD.
AD seems to equally affect the ability of women and men with AD to construct specific autobiographical memories, to mentally travel in time to relive these memories, to construct mental visual images during memory retrieval, and to organize and monitor search processes, as the latter are mirrored by retrieval time. However, women with AD seem to attribute greater emotional value to autobiographical memories than men with AD.