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Memory for gist and detail information in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Memory for gist and detail information in patients with Parkinson’s disease.
Author Information (click to view)

Yu RL, Tan CH, Wu YR, Wu RM, Chiu MJ, Hua MS,


Yu RL, Tan CH, Wu YR, Wu RM, Chiu MJ, Hua MS, (click to view)

Yu RL, Tan CH, Wu YR, Wu RM, Chiu MJ, Hua MS,

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BMJ open 2015 11 205(11) e009795 doi 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009795

Abstract
OBJECTIVE
Memory formation is proposed to be a dual process that involves the simultaneous memorisation of both detailed information (item-specific memory) and gist information (gist memory). Memory deficits have been reported in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD); however, few studies have explicitly addressed the nature of these deficits. To obtain a detailed understanding of memory dysfunction in patients with PD, it is of crucial importance to establish whether item-specific memory and gist memory performance are impaired. The aim of this study is to explore whether gist memory and item-specific memory performance are still intact in patients with PD, as well as to determine which psychological mechanisms are responsible for memory formation.

SETTING
Two hospitals in northern Taiwan.

PARTICIPANTS
Thirty-nine patients with PD and 28 normal controls were recruited. Each participant received a gist-based recognition test following the Deese-Roediger-McDermott paradigm, as well as neuropsychological tests and measures of clinical characteristics.

RESULTS
Gist memory was impaired in patients with advanced-stage disease (Hoehn and Yahr (H&Y) stage: III) (F2,64=3.58, p=0.033), whereas item-specific memory was preserved throughout all disease stages. Correlation analysis showed that item-specific memory was related to executive functions in normal controls and early-stage patients with PD (H&Y stage: I-II); however, item-specific memory was related to episodic memory, rather than to executive functions, in advanced-stage patients with PD. Moreover, gist memory was related to episodic memory, but only in early-stage patients with PD.

CONCLUSIONS
We discovered that impaired gist memory is found in advanced-stage, but not in early-stage, patients with PD. Our findings suggest that the techniques used to take advantage of the relatively preserved gist memory in early-stage patients with PD, as well as the preserved item-specific memory in patients with PD of all stages, could be useful for memory rehabilitation programmes.

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