Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, Building NE20-392,
77 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
Conclusions: Deficits in the formation of new episodic memories are the hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. Although numerous studies have investigated these declarative memory deficits, recent attention has been drawn to the modulatory effects of emotion on memory and the extent to which this modulation is disrupted with healthy aging and Alzheimer’s disease. Studies to date have suggested that healthy aging leaves the emotional memory enhancement effect relatively intact. In contrast, while Alzheimer’s disease patients remain capable of processing emotional information and responding to emotional events, they do not show the same memory boost for emotional information as demonstrated by healthy older adults. The contrast between the performance of healthy older adults and Alzheimer’s disease patients likely results from the significant changes to limbic regions, including the amygdala, that accompany Alzheimer’s disease.
Source (pdf): Kensinger EA, Anderson A, Growdon JH, & Corkin S (2004). Effects of Alzheimer disease on memory for verbal emotional information. Neuropsychologia, 42, 791-800.