Inhibitory functioning in Alzheimer’s disease

Amieva, Hélène, Phillips, Louise H., Della Sala, Sergio and Henry, Julie D. (2004) Inhibitory functioning in Alzheimer’s disease. Brain, 127 5: 949-964. doi:10.1093/brain/awh045

Author Amieva, Hélène
Phillips, Louise H.
Della Sala, Sergio
Henry, Julie D.
Title Inhibitory functioning in Alzheimer’s disease
Journal name Brain   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0006-8950
Publication date 2004-05
Year available 2003
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/brain/awh045
Volume 127
Issue 5
Start page 949
End page 964
Total pages 16
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publisher Oxford University Press
Collection year 2004
Language eng
Formatted abstract
We present a comprehensive review of studies assessing inhibitory functioning in Alzheimer’s disease. The objectives of this review are: (i) to establish whether Alzheimer’s disease affects all inhibitory mechanisms equally, and (ii) where possible, to assess whether any effects of Alzheimer’s disease on inhibition tasks might be caused by other cognitive deficits, such as slowed processing. We review inhibitory mechanisms considered to play a crucial role in various domains of cognition, such as inhibition involved in working memory, selective attention and shifting abilities, and the inhibition of motor and verbal responses. It was found that whilst most inhibitory mechanisms are affected by the disorder, some are relatively preserved, suggesting that inhibitory deficits in Alzheimer’s disease may not be the result of a general inhibitory breakdown. In particular, the experimental results reviewed showed that Alzheimer’s disease has a strong effect on tasks requiring controlled inhibition processes, such as the Stroop task. However, the presence of the disease appears to have relatively little effect on tasks requiring more automatic inhibition, such as the inhibition of return task. Thus, the distinction between automatic, reflexive inhibitory mechanisms and controlled inhibitory mechanisms may be critical when predicting the integrity of inhibitory mechanisms in Alzheimer’s disease. Substantial effects of Alzheimer’s disease on tasks such as negative priming, which are not cognitively complex but do require some degree of controlled inhibition, support this hypothesis. A meta‐analytic review of seven studies on the Stroop paradigm revealed substantially larger effects of Alzheimer’s disease on the inhibition condition relative to the baseline condition, suggesting that these deficits do not simply reflect general slowing.
Keyword Inhibition
Alzheimer's disease
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown
Additional Notes Article first published online 25th November, 2003. Not published in print until 2004. Published under:'Review article'

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 131 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 18 Apr 2011, 12:15:09 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Psychology