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Neuropsychology. 2004 Apr;18(2):296-305.

Relational integration and executive function in Alzheimer's disease.

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Departjment of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1563, USA.


Executive functions depend on the ability to represent relations between objects and events, and the prefrontal cortex provides the neural substrate for this capacity. Patients with probable Alzheimer's disease (AD) and control participants were administered measures of working memory and reasoning that varied systematically in their relational complexity. AD patients showed impairment on reasoning measures that required the online integration of relations but performed as well as control participants on nonrelational items and items requiring the processing of only single relations. When AD patients were divided into subgroups based on their performance on relational reasoning measures, the subgroup that showed significant impairment on relational integration measures exhibited a neuropsychological profile consistent with prefrontal cortical dysfunction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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