Prospective memory, or the timely remembering of a planned action, is conceptualised as a cognitive process demanding episodic memory and executive attention. Impairments in these skills are characteristic of the cognitive decline in early Alzheimer s disease, providing an expectation of prominent prospective memory difficulties in this population, and yet surprisingly, memory performance in early Alzheimer s disease has rarely been evaluated within a prospective memory framework. In a preliminary study we demonstrated that older adults with early Alzheimer s disease (n=14), as compared to healthy older adults (n=14), were significantly impaired in a simple experimental paradigm of prospective remembering (a text-reading task). In a subsequent intervention study, we investigated the efficacy of spaced-retrieval for improving the prospective remembering performance of older adults with early Alzheimer s disease (n=16) compared to healthy older adults (n=16) under two learning conditions: a spaced-retrieval technique alone or spaced-retrieval combined with elaborated encoding of task. The majority of the Alzheimer s disease group (63 ) demonstrated benefit in prospective remembering in the combined condition as compared to spaced-retrieval alone. Participants with Alzheimer s disease who demonstrated better executive attention (Trail Making- set-shifting) and/or better retrospective memory (Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised- recognition) were more successful in the combined learning condition.
|Pages (from-to)||688 - 706|
|Number of pages||19|
|Publication status||Published - 2007|