Anosognosia in Dementia

  • Robert S. WilsonEmail author
  • Joel Sytsma
  • Lisa L. Barnes
  • Patricia A. Boyle
Behavior (H Kirshner, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Behavior


Progressive decline in memory (and other functions) is the defining feature of late-life dementia but affected individuals are often unaware of this impairment. This article reviews recent research on anosognosia in dementia, including methods of assessing anosognosia, its prevalence and developmental course in dementia, its occurrence in different forms of dementia, neuroimaging findings, and hypothesized component mechanisms. The results suggest that anosognosia is eventually exhibited by nearly all persons with dementia. Its occurrence is robustly associated with common dementia-related pathologies and damage to memory and self-referential brain networks and their interconnections.


Anosognosia Metacognition Memory awareness Subjective memory Dementia Frontotemporal dementia 



This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (R01AG34374, R01AG33678, P30AG10161, RF1AG22018).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Robert S. Wilson, Joel Sytsma, Lisa L. Barnes, and Patricia A. Boyle declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert S. Wilson
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Joel Sytsma
    • 1
  • Lisa L. Barnes
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Patricia A. Boyle
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Rush Alzheimer’s Disease CenterRush University Medical CenterChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Neurological SciencesRush University Medical CenterChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Behavioral SciencesRush University Medical CenterChicagoUSA

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