Supporting autobiographical memory in patients with Alzheimer's disease using smart phones

Gianluca De Leo, Eleonora Brivio, Scott W. Sautter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


An estimated 5.1 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's disease (AD). A symptom of AD is the gradual loss of autobiographical memory. Support services have been shown to slow such loss, thereby improving the quality of life of patients and their caregivers. In this case study, a subject in Stage 4 of AD on the Functional Assessment Staging (FAST) scale carried a smart phone with a lanyard for 4 weeks. The smart phone was programmed to take pictures at 5-minute intervals for 12 hours during the day. The pictures were collected, combined in a video slide show, saved to a DVD, and mailed to the subject on a weekly basis. The subject and his caregiver had to view the DVD. In order to evaluate the subject's memory before and after viewing the DVD, a test concerning the most important events of the week was developed. The subject and his caregiver had to answer a satisfaction questionnaire as well. The results of this case study confirmed that the DVD helped the subject recall recent events significantly better and that carrying the smart phone was not considered intrusive to daily routines. This manuscript illustrates how smart phone technology can assist in exercising autobiographical memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-76
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Neuropsychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • assistive technology
  • autobiographical memory
  • smart phone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Supporting autobiographical memory in patients with Alzheimer's disease using smart phones'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this