Psicothema was founded in Asturias (northern Spain) in 1989, and is published jointly by the Psychology Faculty of the University of Oviedo and the Psychological Association of the Principality of Asturias (Colegio Oficial de Psicología del Principado de Asturias).
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Psicothema, 2010. Vol. Vol. 22 (nº 3). 424-429

A comparison of memory and executive functions in Alzheimer disease and the frontal variant of frontotemporal dementia

María Victoria Sebastián and Laura Hernández-Gil

Universidad Complutense de Madrid

This study examined memory and executive functions of switching and distributing attention in 25 Alzheimer patients (AD), 9 patients with frontal variant of frontotemporal dementia (fvFTD), and 25 healthy older people, as a control group, in three tasks: verbal digit span, Brown-Peterson (B-P) task, and dual-task. No differences were found in digit span. Qualitative analysis of errors in the B-P task indicated that both ADs and fvFTDs presented a higher number of omissions and perseverations, interpreted in this study as an index of executive dysfunction, compared to the control group. In fact, the ADs persevered more or the same as the fvFTDs, and no differences were found between the two groups of patients in omissions. The dual-task results showed that both AD and fvFTD had difficulties coordinating the two tasks simultaneously compared to the control group, but no differences were found between the patient groups. Although the presence of alterations in the executive functions of AD patients may suggest that these functions would depend on the correct functional integration of various cerebral areas, it would be of great interest to include neurological evidence in order to contrast these results in future research.

Comparación entre memoria y funciones ejecutivas en la enfermedad de Alzheimer y la variante frontal de la demencia frontotemporal. Este estudio examinó la memoria y las funciones ejecutivas de cambiar y distribuir la atención en 25 pacientes Alzheimer (EA), 9 pacientes con demencia frontotemporal en su variante frontal (DFTvf), y 25 ancianos sanos, como grupo control (C), en tres pruebas: amplitud verbal, tarea de Brown-Peterson (B-P), y una tarea doble. No se encontraron diferencias significativas en amplitud. El análisis de los errores de la tarea B-P indicó que tanto los EA como los DFTvf presentaban mayor número de omisiones y perseveraciones que C, interpretándose ambos errores como un índice de disfunción ejecutiva. Además, los EA perseveraron más o igual que los DFTvf y no se encontraron diferencias significativas entre ambos grupos de pacientes en omisiones. En la tarea doble, tanto los EA como los DFTvf tuvieron dificultades para coordinar ambas tareas simultáneamente, comparado con C, pero no se encontraron diferencias significativas entre EA y DFTvf. Si bien la presencia de alteraciones de las funciones ejecutivas en pacientes EA, podría sugerir que estas funciones dependerían de la correcta integración funcional de varias áreas cerebrales, sería de gran interés incluir evidencia neurológica en investigaciones futuras, para contrastar estos resultados.


Impact factor 2022:  JCR WOS 2022:  FI = 3.6 (Q2);  JCI = 1.21 (Q1) / SCOPUS 2023:  SJR = 1.07;  CiteScore = 6.4 (Q1)