Smell your memories: Positive effect of odor exposure on recent and remote autobiographical memories in Alzheimer’s disease

Ophélie Glachet, Ahmed A. Moustafa, Karim Gallouj, Mohamad El Haj*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction: There is a burgeoning interest in the effects of odor exposure on autobiographical memory in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We pursued this line of research by assessing the effect of odor exposure on the retrieval of recent and remote memories in AD. 

Method: Twenty-six patients with mild AD and 28 controls were tested in two conditions: with and without odor exposure. In each condition, participants were invited to retrieve two childhood memories, two adulthood memories, and two recent memories. 

Results: Analysis showed that AD patients produced a higher number of and more specific childhood memories, adulthood memories, and recent memories after odor exposure than without odor. 

Discussion: These findings demonstrate how odor exposure may alleviate anterograde and retrograde amnesia, at least when considering the ability of patients with mild AD to retrieve few recent or remote memories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-564
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology
Volume41
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes

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