Revue de neuropsychologie


Emotional consequences of amygdala alterations in Alzheimer’s disease Volume 15, issue 1, Janvier-Février-Mars 2023

1 Université Grenoble Alpes, Université Savoie Mont Blanc, CNRS, LPNC, 38000 Grenoble, France
2 Université Grenoble Alpes, Université Savoie Mont Blanc, LIP/PC2S, 38000 Grenoble, France
3 Lapsco, CNRS, Université Clermont Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France
4 Institut universitaire de France, France <pascal.hot@univ-smb.fr>
* Correspondance : P. Hot

The amygdala is atrophied early in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, evidence regarding the impact of this early atrophy on cognitive and emotional processes is still lacking. The aim of this synthesis is to assess the consequences of amygdala alterations on the processing of emotional information in patients with AD. Amygdala alterations in these populations lead to disruptions in fear conditioning and emotional memory, social cognition (and notably facial expression recognition), and emotional attention. However, our synthesis also highlights the poor reproducibility of these results. We then present recent interpretative models of the role of the amygdala and assess their contribution to the identification of emotional processing deficits in these patients. In particular, we argue that studying emotional attention within this theoretical framework is a relevant approach, in that it could improve the differential diagnosis and the characterization of emotional disorders due to amygdala alterations in AD.