Semantic knowledge of famous people in mild cognitive impairment and progression to Alzheimer's disease

Armando Estévez-González, Carmen García-Sánchez, Anunciación Boltes, Pilar Otermín, Berta Pascual-Sedano, Alex Gironell, Jaime Kulisevsky

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66 Citations (Scopus)


Patients with dementia of Alzheimer's type (DAT) show severe impairment in recognizing famous people. The aim of the current study was to investigate if this well-known memory impairment of famous faces is already present in the preclinical phase of DAT and if the famous faces test can help to differentiate patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) who progress to dementia and those who do not. We compared baseline performance in a task of famous face identification in a sample of 116 patients with subjective memory complaints classified in three groups: 17 participants with no evidence of cognitive impairment; 26 patients with MCI who had not developed dementia, and 27 patients with MCI who had developed probable DAT 2 years later. The remaining patients were excluded because they abandoned or did not meet the applied restrictive criteria for DAT, MCI or control. MCI patients who were diagnosed 2 years later with DAT performed significantly worse in the preclinical phase than MCI and control participants (p < 0.004). Patients with MCI but not DAT obtained intermediate results between control subjects and MCI patients who develop Alzheimer's disease. A neuropsychological task of semantic knowledge of famous people may be useful in the early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. Copyright © 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-195
JournalDementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2004


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Neuropsychological marker
  • Subjective memory complaints


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