Medial temporal lobe function during emotional memory in early Alzheimer's disease, mild cognitive impairment and healthy ageing: an fMRI study

Mario A. Parra, Vivek Pattan, Dichelle Wong, Anna Beaglehole, Jane Lonie, Hong I. Wan, Garry Honey, Jeremy Hall, Heather C. Whalley, Stephen M. Lawrie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Relative to intentional memory encoding, which quickly declines in Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's disease (AD), incidental memory for emotional stimuli appears to deteriorate more slowly. We hypothesised that tests of incidental emotional memory may inform on different aspects of cognitive decline in MCI and AD.Methods: Patients with MCI, AD and Healthy Controls (HC) were asked to attend to emotional pictures (i.e., positive and neutral) sequentially presented during an fMRI session. Attention was monitored behaviourally. A surprise post-scan recognition test was then administered.Results: The groups remained attentive within the scanner. The post-scan recognition pattern was in the form of (HC = MCI) > AD, with only the former group showing a clear benefit from emotional pictures. fMRI analysis of incidental encoding demonstrated clusters of activation in para-hippocampal regions and in the hippocampus in HC and MCI patients but not in AD patients. The pattern of activation observed in MCI patients tended to be greater than that found in HC.Conclusions: The results suggest that incidental emotional memory might offer a suitable platform to investigate, using behavioural and fMRI measures, subtle changes in the process of developing AD. These changes seem to differ from those found using standard episodic memory tests. The underpinnings of such differences and the potential clinical use of this methodology are discussed in depth.
LanguageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Volume13
Issue number76
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2013

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Temporal Lobe
Alzheimer Disease
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Episodic Memory
Cognitive Dysfunction
Hippocampus

Keywords

  • semantic memory
  • mild cognitive impairment
  • short-term-memory
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • genetic risk
  • association workgroups
  • national institute
  • diagnostic guidelines
  • fMRI
  • incidental memory
  • episodic memory
  • medial temporal lobe
  • quantitative meta analysis
  • brain activity
  • emotional memory
  • hippocampal activation

Cite this

Parra, Mario A. ; Pattan, Vivek ; Wong, Dichelle ; Beaglehole, Anna ; Lonie, Jane ; Wan, Hong I. ; Honey, Garry ; Hall, Jeremy ; Whalley, Heather C. ; Lawrie, Stephen M. / Medial temporal lobe function during emotional memory in early Alzheimer's disease, mild cognitive impairment and healthy ageing : an fMRI study. In: BMC Psychiatry. 2013 ; Vol. 13, No. 76.
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Medial temporal lobe function during emotional memory in early Alzheimer's disease, mild cognitive impairment and healthy ageing : an fMRI study. / Parra, Mario A.; Pattan, Vivek; Wong, Dichelle; Beaglehole, Anna; Lonie, Jane; Wan, Hong I.; Honey, Garry; Hall, Jeremy; Whalley, Heather C.; Lawrie, Stephen M.

In: BMC Psychiatry, Vol. 13, No. 76, 06.03.2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Medial temporal lobe function during emotional memory in early Alzheimer's disease, mild cognitive impairment and healthy ageing

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AU - Parra, Mario A.

AU - Pattan, Vivek

AU - Wong, Dichelle

AU - Beaglehole, Anna

AU - Lonie, Jane

AU - Wan, Hong I.

AU - Honey, Garry

AU - Hall, Jeremy

AU - Whalley, Heather C.

AU - Lawrie, Stephen M.

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Y1 - 2013/3/6

N2 - Background: Relative to intentional memory encoding, which quickly declines in Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's disease (AD), incidental memory for emotional stimuli appears to deteriorate more slowly. We hypothesised that tests of incidental emotional memory may inform on different aspects of cognitive decline in MCI and AD.Methods: Patients with MCI, AD and Healthy Controls (HC) were asked to attend to emotional pictures (i.e., positive and neutral) sequentially presented during an fMRI session. Attention was monitored behaviourally. A surprise post-scan recognition test was then administered.Results: The groups remained attentive within the scanner. The post-scan recognition pattern was in the form of (HC = MCI) > AD, with only the former group showing a clear benefit from emotional pictures. fMRI analysis of incidental encoding demonstrated clusters of activation in para-hippocampal regions and in the hippocampus in HC and MCI patients but not in AD patients. The pattern of activation observed in MCI patients tended to be greater than that found in HC.Conclusions: The results suggest that incidental emotional memory might offer a suitable platform to investigate, using behavioural and fMRI measures, subtle changes in the process of developing AD. These changes seem to differ from those found using standard episodic memory tests. The underpinnings of such differences and the potential clinical use of this methodology are discussed in depth.

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KW - Alzheimer's disease

KW - genetic risk

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KW - fMRI

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KW - medial temporal lobe

KW - quantitative meta analysis

KW - brain activity

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