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Memory for public events in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease : the importance of rehearsal
Article [Accepted Manuscript]
Is part ofJournal of Alzheimer's disease ; vol. 50, no. 4, pp. 1023-1033.
Ribot’s law refers to the better preservation of remote memories compared with recent ones that presumably characterizes retrograde amnesia. Even if Ribot-type temporal gradient has been extensively studied in retrograde amnesia, particularly in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), this pattern has not been consistently found. One explanation for these results may be that rehearsal frequency rather than remoteness accounts for the better preservation of these memories. Thus, the aim of present study was to address this question by studying retrograde semantic memory in subjects with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) (n = 20), mild AD (n = 20) and in healthy older controls (HC; n = 19). In order to evaluate the impact of repetition as well as the impact of remoteness, we used a test assessing memory for enduring and transient public events that occurred in the recent and remote past. Results show no clear temporal gradient across time periods (1960–1975; 1976–1990; 1991–2005; 2006–2011), but a better performance was observed in all three groups for enduring compared with transient events. Moreover, although deficits were globally found in both patients groups compared with HC, more specific analyses revealed that aMCI patients were only impaired on transient events while AD patients were impaired on both transient and enduring events. Exploratory analyses also revealed a tendency suggesting preservation of remote transient events in aMCI. These findings are discussed with regards to memory consolidation models.