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Alzheimer's Disease

Emotional Memories Survival of Demetnia

11/28/2007

Question:

Why are emotional memories usually successful in surviving in the damage caused to the brain by a dementia?

Answer:

Emotional memories are actually more strongly represented in everyone, since they are associated with activation of the amygdala (the fear/emotion center) which results stronger memory representation in the hippocampus (the memory center). Therefore, in individuals with degraded memory, the emotional memories will be recalled the best. Also, degenerative processes preferentially affect recent memories, so old emotional memories will be remembered best of all.

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Response by:

David Q Beversdorf, MD David Q Beversdorf, MD
Formerly
Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurobehavior and Neurology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University