Abstract

Memory and emotions for the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in patients with Alzheimer's disease, patients with mild cognitive impairment, and healthy older adults

Budson, A.E., Simons, J.S., Sullivan, A.L., Beier, J.S., Solomon, P.R., Scinto, L.F., Daffner, K.R., & Schacter, D.L. (2004). Neuropsychology, 18, 315-327.

National traumatic events can produce extremely vivid memories. Using a questionnaire administered during telephone interviews, the authors investigated emotional responses to, and memory for, the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and healthy older adults in the initial weeks following the event and again 34 months later. There were several notable findings. First, patients with AD showed less memory than patients with MCI and older adults. Second, patients with AD, but not patients with MCI or older adults, appeared to retain more memory for personal versus factual information. Third, patients with AD and older adults did not differ in the intensity of their reported emotional responses to the attacks, whereas patients with MCI reported relatively less intense emotional responses. Last, distortions of memory for personal information were frequent for all participants but were more common in patients with AD.