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Dementia & Neuropsychologia

Print version ISSN 1980-5764

Dement. neuropsychol. vol.5 no.2 São Paulo Apr./June 2011 

Views & Reviews

Prospective memory in Alzheimer's disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment

Memória prospectiva na doença de Alzheimer e Comprometimento Cognitivo Leve

Lívia Spíndola 1  

Sonia Maria Dozzi Brucki 2  

1Neuropsychologist, Post-Graduate Student;

2MD, PhD, Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology Unit, Department of Neurology, University of São Paulo School Medicine, São Paulo SP, Brazil.


Prospective memory (PM) is defined as remembering to carry out intended actions at an appropriate point in the future, and can be categorized into three types of situation: time-, event-, and activity-based tasks. PM involves brain structures such as frontal and medial temporal cortices. The aim of this study was to review the currently available literature on PM in Alzheimer's disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment patients. We performed a search on Pubmed, Medline, ScieLO, LILACS and the Co­chrane Library electronic databases from January 1990 to December 2010. The key terms used were: prospective memory, memory for intentions, delayed memory and memory for future actions, separately and also combined with the search terms dementia, Alzheimer's disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment. Both patient groups showed significant impairment in PM. Further studies are needed to verify the accuracy of PM tasks as an early marker of mild cognitive impairment, and initial dementia.

Key words: prospective memory; memory for intentions; dementia; Alzheimer's disease; mild cognitive impairment.


Memória prospectiva (MP) é lembrar-se de completar ações intencionadas num ponto do futuro, pode ser categorizada em três tipos de situação: tarefas baseadas em tempo, evento e atividade. MP envolve estruturas cerebrais como córtices frontais e temporais mediais. Este artigo teve como objetivo revisar a literatura disponível de MP na doença de Alzheimer e Comprometimento Cognitivo Leve. Nós realizamos uma pesquisa nas bases de dados: Pubmed, Medline, ScieLO, LILACS e Co­chrane Library electronic de janeiro de 1990 a dezembro de 2010. Os termos chave usados foram: prospective memory, memory for intentions, delayed memory e memory for future actions, combinados com os termos dementia, Alzheimer's disease e Mild Cognitive Impairment. Os grupos de pacientes demonstraram comprometimento importante em tarefas de MP. Mais estudos são necessários para verificar a acurácia de tarefas de MP como um marcador precoce de comprometimento cognitivo leve e demência inicial.

Palavras-chave: memória prospectiva; memória para intenções; demência; doença de Alzheimer; comprometimento cognitivo leve.

Texto completo disponível apenas em PDF.

Full text available only in PDF format.


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Received: January 02, 2011; Accepted: March 10, 2011

Lívia Spindola - Rua Arruda Alvim 49 / apto 54 - 054010-020 São Paulo SP - Brazil. E-mail:

Disclosure: The authors reports no conflicts of interest.

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