Selective impairment in the retrieval of family relationships in person identification: A case study of delusional misidentification

Nobuhito Abe, Hiroshi Ishii, Toshikatsu Fujii, Aya Ueno, Eunjoo Lee, Toshiyuki Ishioka, Etsuro Mori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We describe a 74-year-old, right-handed woman who exhibited a peculiar form of delusional misidentification due to Alzheimer's disease (AD) combined with idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH). The patient's most distinctive symptom was that she often misidentified her daughters as her sisters. She had severe atrophy of the bilateral medial temporal lobe and right-hemisphere-dominant hypoperfusion in the fronto-temporo-parietal cortices. Detailed tests revealed that she had a selective deficit in retrieving the family relationships between herself and her daughters/husband (i.e., she misidentified her daughters as her sisters and her husband as her father), despite being able to retrieve the names and faces of her family members, and some person-specific semantic information (e.g., occupation) related to them. We speculate that this specific type of misidentification can be elicited by failure to update semantic memory through the encoding of new episodic memory due to right-hemisphere-dominant fronto-temporal dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2902-2909
Number of pages8
JournalNeuropsychologia
Volume45
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Delusional misidentification
  • Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus
  • Person identification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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