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Neuropsychologia. 2005;43(8):1107-14. Epub 2005 Jan 26.

Changes in memory for emotional material in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Box P077, Henry Wellcome Building, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK.


The current study sought to examine the performance of non-demented ALS patients on neuropsychological tests involving emotional perception and memory. Nineteen non-demented patients with ALS were compared with 20 healthy controls on assessments of facial expression recognition, social judgement ratings of faces and recognition memory for emotional words. Patients and controls were well matched to exclude a range of potentially confounding variables. The patients and controls demonstrated significant differences on only one test of cognitive functioning. The ALS group demonstrated a failure to show the normative pattern of enhanced recognition memory for emotional words compared to neutral words and produced higher scores than controls on recognition memory for neutral words. These findings suggest that patients with ALS show a different pattern of cognitive performance with respect to memory for emotional material when compared to healthy adults.

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