Working memory in posterior cortical atrophy

  • Laura Trotta
  • Delphine Lamoureux
  • Paolo Bartolomeo
  • Raffaella MigliaccioEmail author
Brief Communication


We used an ad hoc created neuropsychological battery to evaluate in details both verbal and visuospatial working memory (WM) in patients with posterior cortical atrophy (PCA, n = 5). PCA is a rare, early-onset neurodegenerative dementia, often due to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathology. Clinically, PCA patients present with visual, visuospatial, and visuomotor deficits, and no memory complaints. PCA patients’ patterns of performance were compared with those of 11 typical, amnestic AD patients matched for disease severity, as well as with 17 age-matched healthy controls. Both groups of patients had impaired WM performance compared to controls. However, PCA patients were more impaired than typical AD patients for both verbal and visuospatial WM. Moreover, PCA patients showed a more consistent impairment of visuospatial WM, as compared with verbal WM. Systematic WM evaluation should be part of the standard assessment in PCA. WM deficits affect patients’ quality of life and can be detrimental to rehabilitation programs.


Neuropsychological assessment Working memory Posterior cortical atrophy Alzheimer’s disease Parietal lobe 



The authors thank Arthur Tenenhaus and Vincent Guillmot for their suggestions on the “Statistical analyses” section.

Funding information

Raffaella Migliaccio is financially supported by “France Alzheimer” and “Philippe Chatrier” foundations. This research has received funding from the program “Investissements d’avenir” ANR-10- IAIHU-06.

Compliance with ethical standards

This study complied with the Declaration of Helsinki and was promoted by the INSERM (C10-49) and approved by the Ile-de-France I Ethics Committee. Written informed consent has been given by all participants.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10072_2019_3869_MOESM1_ESM.docx (114 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 114 kb)


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Copyright information

© Fondazione Società Italiana di Neurologia 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.INSERM U 1127, CNRS UMR 7225, Institut du cerveau et de la moelle épinière (ICM)Sorbonne Université, Hôpital de la Pitié-SalpêtrièreParisFrance
  2. 2.Department of Nervous System Diseases, Institut de la mémoire et de la maladie d’Alzheimer (IM2A), Centre de référence “démences rares”, NeurologyHôpital de la Pitié-Salpêtrière, ParisFrance

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