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Functional cerebral changes after cognitive training in episodic memory function

​Research staff

PD Dr. P. Schönknecht, Dr. F. Giesel, Prof. Dr. M. Essig, Prof. Dr. J. Schröder

Cooperation partner

  • Section Radiology German Cancer Research Center
  • Psychiatric University Hospital University Medical Centre Heidelberg


The mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is generally seen as a potential preliminary stage of alzheimer's disease (AD), in which neuropsychological diseases, in particular amnestic deficits, are consistently detectable, but without reaching the dimension of a clinical apparent demential pathology. Chen et al. (2001) pointed within their prospective longitudinal study to the fact, that already 18 months before the manifestation of a dementia deficites in the learning ability, the direct and deferred retentiveness and the executive functions occured. It is assumed that the deficites follow Ribot`s law and apply in the clinical process episodic memories at first (Ribot, 1881, Cermak, 1984; Piolino et al., 2003). Functional cerebral changes after a training of the episodic memory are not examinated until now. In the actual study it shall be detected if physiological ageing processes in the brain can be diffeciated by their economical effects from pathological cerebral changes as they occured f.e. in advance of an AD. Having regard to the hypothesis of a cognitive reserve capacity, which includes an intermediate compensation in cognitive deficites because of the premorbid intellectual proficiency level, the dependence of the economical effects after a cognitive training on the level of education and intellectual proficiency level is to be examinated.

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