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Processing of Self versus Non-Self in Alzheimer's Disease

Bond, RL; Downey, LE; Weston, PSJ; Slattery, CF; Clark, CN; Macpherson, K; Mummery, CJ; (2016) Processing of Self versus Non-Self in Alzheimer's Disease. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience , 10 , Article 97. 10.3389/fnhum.2016.00097. Green open access

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Abstract

Despite considerable evidence for abnormalities of self-awareness in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the cognitive mechanisms of altered self-processing in AD have not been fully defined. Here we addressed this issue in a detailed analysis of self/non-self-processing in three patients with AD. We designed a novel neuropsychological battery comprising tests of tactile body schema coding, attribution of tactile events to self versus external agents, and memory for self- versus non-self-generated vocal information, administered in conjunction with a daily life measure of self/non-self-processing (the Interpersonal Reactivity Index). Three male AD patients (aged 54–68 years; one with a pathogenic mutation in the Presenilin 1 gene, one with a pathogenic mutation in the Amyloid Precursor Protein gene, and one with a CSF protein profile supporting underlying AD pathology) were studied in relation to a group of eight healthy older male individuals (aged 58–74 years). Compared to healthy controls, all patients had relatively intact tactile body schema processing. In contrast, all patients showed impaired memory for words previously presented using the patient’s own voice whereas memory for words presented in other voices was less consistently affected. Two patients showed increased levels of emotional contagion and reduced perspective taking on the Interpersonal Reactivity Index. Our findings suggest that AD may be associated with deficient self/non-self differentiation over time despite a relatively intact body image: this profile of altered self-processing contrasts with the deficit of tactile body schema previously described in frontotemporal dementia associated with C9orf72 mutations. We present these findings as a preliminary rationale to direct future systematic study in larger patient cohorts.

Type: Article
Title: Processing of Self versus Non-Self in Alzheimer's Disease
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2016.00097
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2016.00097
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016 Bond, Downey, Weston, Slattery, Clark, Macpherson, Mummery and Warren. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Keywords: Alzheimer's, self processing, voice, source memory, Interpersonal Reactivity Index, tactile
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Neurodegenerative Diseases
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1476571
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