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J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2009 Jan;15(1):9-18. doi: 10.1017/S1355617708090103.

Semantic knowledge for famous names in mild cognitive impairment.

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Department of Psychology, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, North Chicago, Illinois.


Person identification represents a unique category of semantic knowledge that is commonly impaired in Alzheimer's disease (AD), but has received relatively little investigation in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The current study examined the retrieval of semantic knowledge for famous names from three time epochs (recent, remote, and enduring) in two participant groups: 23 amnestic MCI (aMCI) patients and 23 healthy elderly controls. The aMCI group was less accurate and produced less semantic knowledge than controls for famous names. Names from the enduring period were recognized faster than both recent and remote names in both groups, and remote names were recognized more quickly than recent names. Episodic memory performance was correlated with greater semantic knowledge particularly for recent names. We suggest that the anterograde memory deficits in the aMCI group interferes with learning of recent famous names and as a result produces difficulties with updating and integrating new semantic information with previously stored information. The implications of these findings for characterizing semantic memory deficits in MCI are discussed. (JINS, 2009, 15, 9-18.).

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