Some recent news about Alzheimer’s research.
It seems that women with Alzheimer’s keep their verbal ability longer than their male counterparts. This suggests that in general the more ability a person has (and the more they use it) the longer it will be before they lose it to Alzheimer’s.
Research on mice suggests memories are not lost. The researchers were careful to point out this has not been replicated on humans, and the particular method probably never well. Nonetheless, it is interesting. I will say I had already concluded from personal experience that memories are not wholly lost in Alzheimer’s–the connection to the memories are simply broken.