Awareness of memory deficit in Alzheimer's disease patients and memory-impaired older adults
Unawareness of memory deficit has been observed in Alzheimer's disease (AD), but the various aspects of this phenomenon have not all been investigated simultaneously. In addition, it is unclear whether elderly persons with circumscribed memory impairment also display diminished awareness. A comprehensive approach addressing various metamemory dimensions was used to investigale memory awareness in AD, memory-impaired, and elderly control subjects. The results showed that the AD patients reported no more memory decline than did the memory-impaired or control subjects, while the informants reported greater decline for AD subjects. A comparison between self- and informant ratings showed that the AD patients were unaware of the extent of their memory decline. Diminished self-monitoring abilities were observed in the AD patients' tendency to overestimate their performance, and to make intrusion errors with few self-corrections. The findings revealed diminished memory awareness across metamemory measures in AD patients but not among memory-impaired individuals.