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Relatively preserved knowledge of music in semantic dementia
  1. Julia C Hailstone,
  2. Rohani Omar,
  3. Jason D Warren
  1. Dementia Research Centre, Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, UK
  1. Dr J D Warren, Dementia Research Centre, Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, UK; jwarren{at}


The brain basis for music knowledge and the effects of disease on music cognition are poorly understood. Here we present evidence for relatively preserved knowledge of music in a musically untrained patient with semantic dementia and characteristic asymmetric anterior temporal lobe atrophy. Our findings suggest that music is partly separable neuropsychologically and anatomically from other semantic domains, with implications for the clinical management of patients with brain disease.

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  • Competing interests: None.

  • Funding: This work was supported by the UK Medical Research Council and the Alzheimer’s Research Trust. JDW is supported by a Wellcome Trust Intermediate Clinical Fellowship. This work was undertaken at University College London, London, UK, which receives a proportion of funding from the Department of Health’s National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centres funding scheme. The Dementia Research Centre is an Alzheimer’s Research Trust Co-ordinating Centre.