False Memories in Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment and Mild Alzheimer’s Disease Dementia: Can Cognitive Strategies Help
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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that presents predominantly with impairments in learning and memory. Patients with AD are also susceptible to false memories, a clinically relevant memory distortion where a patient remembers an incorrect memory that they believe to be true. The use of cognitive strategies to improve memory performance among patients with AD by reducing false memories has taken on added importance given the lack of disease-modifying agents for AD. However, existing evidence suggests that cognitive strategies to reduce false memories in patients with AD are of limited effectiveness, although these strategies may be useful at earlier stages of the disease. The purpose of this review is to examine experimental findings of false memories and associated memory processes in patients with mild cognitive impairment due to AD and mild AD dementia. Cognitive strategies to reduce false memories in these patient populations are also reviewed. Approaches to clinically relevant future research are suggested and discussed.