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Neuropsychology. 2007 Nov;21(6):696-705.

Progressive impairment on neuropsychological tasks in a longitudinal study of preclinical Alzheimer's disease.

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Department of Psychology, University of California, San Diego, CA 92093-0109, USA.


Previous research suggests that patients with Alzheimer's disease exhibit cognitive impairment in the years preceding a clinical diagnosis. Memory impairments are particularly pronounced, but the relative degree to which other cognitive functions are impaired and the speed with which they decline during the preclinical years remains unclear. The authors report a detailed neuropsychological evaluation of 11 patients over the course of 3 years up to and including the 1st year of nonnormal diagnosis. The results suggest that performance falls off rapidly in all areas of cognitive functioning but that abilities thought to be subserved by the medial and lateral temporal lobes (episodic and semantic memory, respectively) appear to be substantially more impaired than those abilities thought to be subserved by the frontal lobes.

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