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The episodic memory impairment in AD can be seen as an amnestic syndrome overlaid by various processing deficits that further compromise memory functioning. This is supported by the inability of people with AD to make use of semantic processing to aid episodic memory. Normally, memory for material can be improved substantially if it can be better structured during the encoding process or if associative links are made with other material, as in the case of the "depth of processing'' procedure in which a semantic orientating instruction is given, such as preceding a word with the question "Is it a type of bird?'' In AD there is a failure to take advantage of these types of processes, with no improvement in memory. Nevertheless, when orientating instructions are given when the material is presented and the same orientating instructions are used to cue retrieval, there are memory improvements in early AD. Thus, this fact can be useful in rehabilitation programs relating to memory function.

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