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Time distortions in Alzheimer’s disease: a systematic review and theoretical integration

Abstract : Time perception is an essential function of the human brain, which is compromised in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Here, we review empirical findings on time distortions in AD and provide a theoretical framework that integrates time and memory distortions in AD and explains their bidirectional modulation. The review was based on a literature survey performed on the PubMed and PsycInfo databases. According to our theoretical framework, time distortions may induce decline in the ability to mentally project oneself in time (i.e., mental time travel), and consequently may contribute to an episodic memory compromise in AD. Conversely, episodic memory compromise in AD may result in a loss of the ability to retrieve information about time and/or the ability to project oneself in subjective time. The relationship between time distortions and memory decline in AD can be jointly attributed to hippocampus involvement, as this brain area supports both time perception and memory and is preferentially targeted by the neuropathological processes of AD. Clinical implications of time distortions are discussed and directions for future research are suggested.
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Mohamad El Haj, Dimitrios Kapogiannis. Time distortions in Alzheimer’s disease: a systematic review and theoretical integration. npj Aging and Mechanisms of Disease, Nature, 2016, 2, pp.16016. ⟨10.1038/npjamd.2016.16⟩. ⟨hal-02517651⟩

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