Different aspects of the self have been reported to be affected in many neurological or psychiatric diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), including mainly higher-level cognitive self-unawareness. This higher sense of self-awareness is most likely related to and dependent on episodic memory, due to the proper integration of ourselves in time, with a permanent conservation of ourselves (i.e., sense of continuity across time). Reviewing studies in this field, our objective is thus to raise possible explanations, especially with the help of neuroimaging studies, for where such self-awareness deficits originate in AD patients. We describe not only episodic (and autobiographical memory) impairment in patients, but also the important role of cortical midline structures, the Default Mode Network, and the resting state (intrinsic brain activity) for the processing of self-related information.
ASJC Scopus subject areas