Autobiographical memory. Its impairment in amnesic syndromes

P Dall'Ora, S Della Sala, H Spinnler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Three groups of brain-damaged patients with severe anterograde episodic amnesia, manifest both ecologically and psychometrically, were tested with an autobiographical memory (ABM) inquiry for which age-education adjusted normal baselines were available. One group was made up of 19 patients in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease and the other of 12 "pure" amnesic patients, 6 of whom had focal diencephalic damage and 6 widespread brain damage. ABM information retrieval was severely impaired in 84% of the early-stage demented patients and in the "pure amnesics" with widespread brain damage, but much less in those with focal damage. No temporal gradient emerged in either group and confabulation was only a marginal factor. Poor performances of demented and nonfocal amnesics were attributed to inertness in the search process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-217
Number of pages21
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1989


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