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Memory for unfamiliar faces differentiates mild cognitive impairment from normal aging


Memory for unfamiliar faces has received little attention in the effort to identify neuropsychological measures that could differentiate mild cognitive impairment (MCI) from normal aging and/or predict conversion from MCI to dementia. We used the Wechsler Memory Scale-III Faces test to investigate facial memory in normal aging (n = 58), MCI (n = 74), and mild Alzheimer's disease (n = 22). After adjustment for age, gender, and years of education, MCI patients demonstrated significantly poorer memory for unfamiliar faces than their healthy peers. Lower scores were also associated with worsening cognition and functional abilities but not an increased risk of dementia.

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