What is it about?

The authors reviewed the literature using five databases as sources. While the biomechanics of lucidity in people with neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and related dementias is poorly understood, there have been dozens of publications in the last 30 years characterizing the epistemic phenomenon. Our findings characterize the state of research and collate the academic material about paradoxical lucidity in a scoping review. Such a review has not yet been performed to date on this topic. This paper provides a reference for researchers seeking to review the state of the literature on lucidity in people with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Future investigations will include nationally and multi-nationally representative surveys of the phenomenon according to caregivers, following strict criteria as delineated in the papers found. The topic provides ample material for interdisciplinary cooperation. Finally, elucidation of biological mechanisms will yield a better understanding and eventual treatment of these diseases.

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Why is it important?

Never-before undertaken scoping review of literature on paradoxical lucidity in dementia. Provides a much-needed, convenient compilation of relevant literature using strict inclusion criteria for future researchers. Includes brief summary from authors’ conclusion of each article tabulated. This review provides a relevant tool in a fast-growing area of interest, such as the NIH’s National Institute on Aging


As anyone who has experienced dementia in a loved one or patient can attest, caregiving can be an isolating, heartbreaking, and sometimes thankless calling. Our review demonstrates that lucid episodes in people, previously regarded as unreachable, are empirically verified. We hope this review evidences the continuing identity of the person who is deeply forgetful, despite appearances. They are, indeed, still there.

John Paul Ross
Stony Brook University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Lucidity in the Deeply Forgetful: A Scoping Review, Journal of Alzheimer s Disease, March 2024, IOS Press,
DOI: 10.3233/jad-231396.
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