NPR's Ari Shapiro speaks with the study's author, Edmarie Guzman-Velez.
"A new study suggests people with Alzheimer's may keep feeling happy or sad even after they've forgotten why they feel that way. Researchers played movies for patients, like "When Harry Met Sally" or "Sophie's Choice." Five minutes later, many people forgot that they had seen the movie, but their feelings remained."
SHAPIRO: This is just one study. But if it's findings bear out, what possibilities do you envision it opening up for treating Alzheimer's patients?
GUZMAN-VELEZ: So the next step would be to focus interventions in inducing positive emotions and trying to decrease negative ones - music, dancing and so on.
SHAPIRO: So it's making people who have Alzheimer's feel better even if it's not treating the underlying disease.
GUZMAN-VELEZ: Exactly. But right now, we don't have any cure or way of preventing it. Therefore right now we're trying to improve the quality of life of those who are already diagnosed with the disease.
Read or listen to the interview here