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Psychiatry Res. 2014 Dec 30;220(3):861-6. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2014.08.050. Epub 2014 Sep 4.

Long-term odor recognition memory in unipolar major depression and Alzheimer׳s disease.

Author information

1
Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) U930, équipe 4 "Troubles affectifs", Université François Rabelais de Tours, 37200 Tours, France.
2
Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) U930, équipe 4 "Troubles affectifs", Université François Rabelais de Tours, 37200 Tours, France; Centre Mémoire de Ressources et de Recherche Région Centre et médecine interne gériatrique, Hôpital Bretonneau, Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire de Tours, 37044 Tours, France.
3
Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) U930, équipe 4 "Troubles affectifs", Université François Rabelais de Tours, 37200 Tours, France; Pôle de Psychiatrie, Clinique Psychiatrique Universitaire, Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire de Tours, 37044 Tours, France.
4
Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Poitiers, 86000 Poitiers, France.
5
Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) U930, équipe 4 "Troubles affectifs", Université François Rabelais de Tours, 37200 Tours, France. Electronic address: atanasova@univ-tours.fr.

Abstract

Major depression and Alzheimer׳s disease (AD) are often observed in the elderly. The identification of specific markers for these diseases could improve their screening. The aim of this study was to investigate long-term odor recognition memory in depressed and AD patients, with a view to identifying olfactory markers of these diseases. We included 20 patients with unipolar major depressive episodes (MDE), 20 patients with mild to moderate AD and 24 healthy subjects. We investigated the cognitive profile and olfactory memory capacities (ability to recognize familiar and unfamiliar odors) of these subjects. Olfactory memory test results showed that AD and depressed patients were characterized by significantly less correct responses and more wrong responses than healthy controls. Detection index did not differ significantly between patients with major depression and those with AD when the results were analyzed for all odors. However, MDE patients displayed an impairment of olfactory memory for both familiar and unfamiliar odors, whereas AD subjects were impaired only in the recognition of unfamiliar odors, with respect to healthy subjects. If preservation of olfactory memory for familiar stimuli in patients with mild to moderate AD is confirmed, this test could be used in clinical practice as a complementary tool for diagnosis.

KEYWORDS:

Alzheimer disease; Depression; Familiar and unfamiliar odors; Memory; Olfaction

PMID:
25262560
DOI:
10.1016/j.psychres.2014.08.050
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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