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Nat Rev Neurol. 2010 Nov;6(11):611-23. doi: 10.1038/nrneurol.2010.148. Epub 2010 Oct 12.

Decision-making cognition in neurodegenerative diseases.

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Institute of Cognitive Neurology (INECO), Favaloro University, Castex 3293 (1425), Buenos Aires, Argentina.


A large proportion of human social neuroscience research has focused on the issue of decision-making. Impaired decision-making is a symptomatic feature of a number of neurodegenerative diseases, but the nature of these decision-making deficits depends on the particular disease. Thus, examining the qualitative differences in decision-making impairments associated with different neurodegenerative diseases could provide valuable information regarding the underlying neural basis of decision-making. Nevertheless, few comparative reports of decision-making across patient groups exist. In this Review, we examine the neuroanatomical substrates of decision-making in relation to the neuropathological changes that occur in Alzheimer disease, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson disease and Huntington disease. We then examine the main findings from studies of decision-making in these neurodegenerative diseases. Finally, we suggest a number of recommendations that future studies could adopt to aid our understanding of decision-making cognition.

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