Exploring the retrograde procedural memory in Parkinson’s disease in the Luxembourg Parkinson’s Study
Objective: The present project focused on developing a neuropsychological tool for the evaluation of the retrograde procedural memory in Parkinson’s disease.
Background: Many daily life activities such as playing the piano, driving a manual car or tying one’s shoes rely on the procedural memory, our “how-to” knowledge. This memory concept is acquired through repetition until it becomes automatic. “Practice makes perfect” – everybody got already this encouragement quote. It is particularly relevant to study this memory in Parkinson’s disease, due to the central role of the striatum in this memory concept, a brain aera affected in this disorder. In Parkinson’s disease, the learning ability of the procedural memory, the anterograde procedural memory, has mainly been established. But to our knowledge no evidenced based tool exists for the assessment of the retrograde procedural memory, the execution of skills that have been acquired in earlier life stages.
Methods: The research team of the Parkinson’s Research Clinic studied, by means of a self-developed tool, based on the Necker cube task, the retrograde procedural memory.
Results: An extended evaluation system was designed for the assessment of the Necker cube, allowing to analyze the cube production process, separating procedural and visuo-constructive aspects.
Conclusion: The newly developed evaluation system will provide further insights into the procedural memory. We are currently in the process of validating the evaluation system in the Luxembourgish Parkinson’s disease cohort.

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