Laboratoire SCALab, UMR CNRS 9193,Université de Lille, CHU Lille, Lille, France
Pôle de gérontologie, Unité de psychogériatrie, CHU de Lille, Lille, France
Unité de gériatrie, Centre hospitalier de Tourcoing, Tourcoing, France
Autobiographical memory refers to memory for personal information. The compromise of autobiographical memory in Alzheimer's disease (AD) results in a loss of knowledge about events and facts that defined the patients’ life, and consequently, degradation of their self-knowledge and sense of identity. The compromise of autobiographical memory in AD can be attributed to a diminished subjective experience of memory and a diminished sense of the self. Our review provides a comprehensive overview of cognitive and clinical processes that may be involved in difficulties to retrieve autobiographical memories in Alzheimer's disease. Our review also proposes a theoretical model according to which, the diminished ability to retrieve contextual information and the overgenerality of recall result in a diminished subjective experience of past and future thinking. Besides its theoretical contribution, our review proposes clinical applicability for evaluation and rehabilitation of autobiographical memory in AD.