Brain Neurorehabil.  2020 Jul;13(2):e15. 10.12786/bn.2020.13.e15.

Does Episodic Memory Training Improve Episodic Memory of Older Adults with Alzheimer's Disease?

  • 1Department of Occupational Therapy, Soonchunhyang University, Asan, Korea
  • 2Department of Bio and Brain Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon, Korea


To date, it is unclear whether cognitive intervention on episodic memory (EM) is effective in improving all or a subset of EM components in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Therefore, this study investigated effects of EM training on the elderly aged over 65 with AD. For this study, 13 AD patients and 16 healthy older adults were recruited. The pre- and post-test for components of EM was a memory task designed to test memory for object identity (“what”), spatial location (“where”), and temporal order (“when”). Training in the AD group consisted of 16 sessions of practice remembering temporal sequences of different objects being hidden in various locations. At pre-test, accuracy on the “where” and “when” conditions were impaired in the AD patients compared with the healthy elderly (p < 0.01). At post-test, accuracy on the “where” condition was significantly improved (p < 0.05) whereas, there were no significant improvements on the “what” and “when” conditions (p > 0.05). Interestingly, there were no significant improvements in standard neuropsychological measures. These findings suggest that AD, in its early stages, selectively impaired spatial and temporal memory rather than object memory. Additionally, it was observed that EM training in AD had different effects depending on the components of EM.


Episodic memory; Cognitive therapy; Alzheimer's disease; Hippocampus
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