The recent study by Weinstein and colleagues1 provides further evidence that semantic memory for music may be relatively spared in semantic dementia (SemD). This issue is both clinically and neurobiologically relevant. Music may be a potential island of meaning in the increasingly meaningless world inhabited by patients with SemD. More fundamentally, the apparent sparing of music knowledge despite a “pan-modal” breakdown of sensory and conceptual knowledge is likely to hold a clue to the nature of the core deficit underpinning SemD.
Warren JD, Hailstone JC, Omar R. Music and Semantic Dementia. Arch Neurol. 2011;68(8):1089–1090. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2011.195
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