Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been largely characterized by severe deterioration of cognitive functioning. Only recently has more attention been shifted to identifying the preserved capacity and functioning of AD patients. By reviewing the AD literature, we observe that despite the various cognitive impairment and deficits, early Alzheimer's patients perform certain types of automatic emotion regulation and display a positivity effect in emotion recognition and emotional memory. Moreover, we argue that, like their healthy aged peers, the optimization of such preserved emotion-based capacities helps early AD patients increase positive emotions, which may counteract the negative effects of the disease, thus maintaining their socio-emotional functioning. Finally, we discuss the emotion-based capacities strategies that AD patients may use to facilitate their adjustment to a life with Alzheimer's.
Bibliographical noteThis research was supported by a Direct Grant for Research from Chinese University of Hong Kong, and a General Research Fund Grant from Research Grant Council, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (Project number: CUHK4428).
- Alzheimer's disease
- Emotional functioning
- Resilient aging