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Improved Tests for Memory Disorders Will Lead to Early/Better Interventions

Improved Tests for Memory Disorders Will Lead to Early/Better Interventions

New research from the UK posits that more accurate tests could be created to diagnose diseases such as Alzheimer’s or memory problems stemming from head injuries.

Identification of memory disorders in the early stages can lead to earlier and more effective interventions.

Researchers investigated the components of memory using a combination of tests and neuroimaging.

The strategy could lead to a new diagnostic tool for distinguishing between different types of dementia, memory damage from stroke, or forms of amnesia caused by head trauma.

Dr. Louis Renoult, a lecturer at the University of East Anglia (UEA) said, “We are creating a new model of how we look at memory that’s more nuanced and gives us a better picture of how memories, particularly long-term memories, are imprinted.”

The findings, published in The Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, are part of an international project with contributions from academics at the University of Ottawa, the State University of New York College at Old Westbury, and the Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest, Toronto.

Dr Renoult said, “If patients lose semantic memory, they struggle with knowledge of everyday objects in the world, and have trouble communicating.

“But if you provide some personal application to those objects — for example showing a dog to someone who kept a dog as a pet — the patient may demonstrate they’ve retained memory of that object.

“The research shows this retained memory performance may result from the brain’s automatic activation of personal episodes by related knowledge.

“We haven’t previously been aware of this intermediate form of memory, which combines semantic knowledge with autobiographical, or ‘episodic’ memory.

“The hope is that advanced methods could be developed to test this newly discovered intermediate form of memory, leading to better approaches to rehabilitation.”

The research was undertaken in 2011-2012 and involved a cohort of 19 healthy subjects.

Source: University of East Anglia

Abstract of brain photo by shutterstock.

Improved Tests for Memory Disorders Will Lead to Early/Better Interventions

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Improved Tests for Memory Disorders Will Lead to Early/Better Interventions. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 25, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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