Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mild Alzheimer's: Photos More Useful Than Words

Date:
May 1, 2009
Source:
Boston University
Summary:
Researchers have found that pictures allow patients with very mild Alzheimer's disease to better recognize and identify a subject as compared to using just words. In addition, the researchers found that these patients can rely on a general sense of knowing or familiarity but not recollection to support successful recognition.

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have found that pictures allow patients with very mild Alzheimer's disease (AD) to better recognize and identify a subject as compared to using just words. In addition, the researchers found that these patients can rely on a general sense of knowing or familiarity but not recollection to support successful recognition.

Related Articles


These findings appear in the current issue of the journal Neuropsychologia.

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) has been conceptualized as a transitional stage between healthy aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD). The amnestic subtype of MCI has received a great deal of attention as it has been associated with an estimated tenfold increase in Alzheimer's disease compared to age-matched controls with no cognitive impairment.

Patients with amnestic MCI and controls participated in separate recognition memory tests of words and pictures, while high density event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded during memory retrieval. These ERPs allow researchers to understand the underlying brain activity associated with certain cognitive processes. The results of the study showed that frontally based ERP components typically associated with memorial familiarity and post-retrieval monitoring were similar between both groups for retrieval of pictures. However, these components were diminished in the patient group during the retrieval of words.

"The results suggested that patients with very mild Alzheimer's, or amnestic mild cognitive impairment, were able to rely on intact frontally-based cognitive processes, such as implicit conceptual priming and explicit memorial familiarity, to remember pictures," said study author Brandon Ally, PhD, an assistant professor of neurology at BUSM.

According to the researchers, this is a novel finding with regards to how people conceptualize memory retrieval, particularly in patients with dementia. "Perhaps there is more of an interaction of implicit and explicit memory processes than we once thought, and patients with mild AD can successfully use implicit memory, or memory without conscious awareness, to support recognition. If this is the case, perhaps we can develop strategies that rely on implicit memory processes such as conceptual priming to support new learning in patients with AD, allowing them to live more engaged and independent lives," added Ally. "Overall, the current results have shown that pictures and words differentially affect how memorial decisions are made in patients with aMCI. Pictures have a clear memorial advantage over words, but the debate as to why is far from settled."

Future research by Ally and his team will attempt to translate these findings into real-world interventions to help patients with memory problems.

Funding for this study was provided by grants from the National Institute on Aging and by pilot awards from the Boston University Alzheimer's Disease Center, the Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center and the Bedford VA Hospital in Bedford, MA.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Boston University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Boston University. "Mild Alzheimer's: Photos More Useful Than Words." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090430111637.htm>.
Boston University. (2009, May 1). Mild Alzheimer's: Photos More Useful Than Words. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090430111637.htm
Boston University. "Mild Alzheimer's: Photos More Useful Than Words." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090430111637.htm (accessed January 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) — More schools are using online classes to keep from losing time to snow days, but it only works if students have Internet access at home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) — A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

RightThisMinute (Jan. 23, 2015) — Not only is Kathy seeing her newborn son for the first time, but this is actually the first time she has ever seen a baby. Kathy and her sister, Yvonne, have been legally blind since childhood, but thanks to an amazing new technology, eSight glasses, which gives those who are legally blind the ability to see, she got the chance to see the birth of her son. It&apos;s an incredible moment and an even better story. Video provided by RightThisMinute
Powered by NewsLook.com
One Dose, Then Surgery to Test Tumor Drugs Fast

One Dose, Then Surgery to Test Tumor Drugs Fast

AP (Jan. 23, 2015) — A Phoenix hospital is experimenting with a faster way to test much needed medications for deadly brain tumors. Patients get a single dose of a potential drug, and hours later have their tumor removed to see if the drug had any affect. (Jan. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins