Awareness of memory task impairment versus everyday memory difficulties in dementia

Morris, Robin G.; Nelis, Sharon M.; Martyr, Anthony; Markova, Ivana; Roth, Ilona; Woods, Robert T.; Whitaker, ChristopherJ. and Clare, Linda (2016). Awareness of memory task impairment versus everyday memory difficulties in dementia. Journal of Neuropsychology, 10(1) pp. 130–142.



The study investigated different types of awareness of memory dysfunction in dementia, specifically judgements concerning memory task performance or appraisal of everyday memory functioning and also exploring the neuropsychological correlates of such awareness. This was investigated in 76 people with dementia, comprising 46 patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and 30 patients with vascular dementia (VaD). The Memory Awareness Rating Scale (Clare et al., 2002, Neuropsychol Rehabil, 12, 341–362) was used, which includes an Objective-Judgement Discrepancy (OJD) technique involving comparison of subjective evaluation of performance on specific memory tasks with actual performance, and a Subjective Rating Discrepancy (SRD) technique, which compares self versus informant judgement of everyday memory function. The AD and VaD groups showed lower awareness than a normal control group for both types of measures, the AD group showing less awareness than the VaD group on the OJD measure. Regression analyses supported associations for both groups between memory impairment and the OJD measure and between naming impairment and the SRD measure. The findings are discussed intermsof neurocognitive theories accountingfor loss ofawarenessin dementia.

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