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Learning, retrieval, and recognition are compromised in aMCI and mild AD: Are distinct episodic memory processes mediated by the same anatomical structures?



Performance of different episodic memory processes in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) and mild Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and their anatomical correlates are not completely understood. We evaluated the performance of 48 subjects (17 with aMCI, 15 with mild AD, and 16 controls) on the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT). A brain MRI voxel-based morphometry (VBM) analysis was run with the aim of evaluating the correlations between RAVLT and gray matter density. All memory processes were compromised in aMCI and mild AD. Also, the same cerebral structures were involved in all RAVLT stages. Learning and delayed recall were more related to the medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampi, whereas recognition was more related to the thalamic nuclei and caudate nucleus, particularly in the left side. Our findings suggest that these structures may act as a complex functional system and are involved in the acquisition of new information. (JINS, 2010, 16, 205–209.)


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*Correspondence and reprint requests to: Prof. Dr. Benito P. Damasceno, Department of Neurology, Medical School, University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Box 6111, Postcode: 13083-970, Campinas-SP, Brazil. E-mail:


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Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society
  • ISSN: 1355-6177
  • EISSN: 1469-7661
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