The Use Of Autobiographical Memory Training To Improve Dementia Symptoms And Prevent Cognitive Decline In Older Adults

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Helen Vonderhaar (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Lisa Emery

Abstract: Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disease characterized by symptoms such as memory loss, language difficulties, and other cognitive deficits. Alzheimer’s disease is also the leading cause of dementia. Dementia is not a normal consequence of aging, although it is typically seen in older adults. One area that is affected by dementia is autobiographical memory, which involves the ability to recall personal experiences and events. This literature review searched for existing peer reviewed articles on the topics of normal versus abnormal aging, autobiographical memory structure, and autobiographical memory training. Few studies have examined the effects of a memory flexibility training program in the context of older adults, and even fewer on dementia symptoms. This literature review focuses on the MemFlex intervention, which aims to improve autobiographical memory flexibility during retrieval. Leahy et al. (2018) conducted a study on MemFlex and its effects on cognitive flexibility and autobiographical memory retrieval in non-depressed older adults. Results showed improvement in autobiographical memory specificity, recall of negative memories, and inhibition relating to cognitive flexibility. Future research should examine MemFlex’s ability to improve memory and cognition in dementia patients. Other studies might also look at MemFlex’s ability to prevent cognitive decline and memory loss in individuals who are at risk for developing dementia.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Vonderhaar, H. (2023). The Use Of Autobiographical Memory Training To Improve Dementia Symptoms And Prevent Cognitive Decline In Older Adults. Unpublished Honors Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2023
MemFlex, autobiographical memory, autobiographical memory training, memory specificity training, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, mild cognitive impairment, aging

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