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PLoS One. 2011;6(5):e20030. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0020030. Epub 2011 May 20.

Visual personal familiarity in amnestic mild cognitive impairment.

Author information

  • 1Division of Old Age Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany. luisa.jurjanz@uniklinikum-dresden.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment are at high risk for developing Alzheimer's disease. Besides episodic memory dysfunction they show deficits in accessing contextual knowledge that further specifies a general concept or helps to identify an object or a person.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we investigated the neural networks associated with the perception of personal familiar faces and places in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment and healthy control subjects. Irrespective of stimulus type, patients compared to control subjects showed lower activity in right prefrontal brain regions when perceiving personally familiar versus unfamiliar faces and places. Both groups did not show different neural activity when perceiving faces or places irrespective of familiarity.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:

Our data highlight changes in a frontal cortical network associated with knowledge-based personal familiarity among patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment. These changes could contribute to deficits in social cognition and may reduce the patients' ability to transition from basic to complex situations and tasks.

PMID:
21625502
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3098858
Free PMC Article

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