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Patients with Parkinson's disease can successfully remember to execute delayed intentions

  • MAREIKE ALTGASSEN (a1), JACQUELINE ZÖLLIG (a1), UTE KOPP (a2), RACHAEL MACKINLAY (a1) and MATTHIAS KLIEGEL (a1)...

Abstract

The present study investigated prospective memory in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and healthy controls. In addition, the influence of task importance on participants' performance was examined. Experimental settings required participants to focus either on the prospective or the ongoing task. The three main findings are (1) PD patients performed as well on a prospective memory task as healthy controls when the focus was laid on the prospective memory task, (2) their prospective memory performance was impaired when the ongoing activity was stressed, and (3) differences in working memory capacity were related to these differential effects. Results indicate that PD patients can perform event-based prospective memory tasks to a normal degree if the prospective task component is prioritized. Data also suggest that a reduced working memory capacity plays an important role in this process. Findings are discussed in terms of conceptual, methodological, and clinical implications. (JINS, 2007, 13, 888–892.)

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Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to: Matthias Kliegel, Ph.D., University of Zurich, Department of Psychology, Binzmühlestrasse 14/24, CH-8050 Zürich, Switzerland. E-mail: m.kliegel@psychologie.unizh.ch

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