We describe a patient who developed a severe but temporally limited retrograde amnesia coupled with a relatively mild anterograde amnesia following herpes simplex encephalitis. The patient showed a profound retrograde amnesia for autobiographical events extending for about 10 years prior to the disease onset. Her knowledge about public events and famous persons was also impaired for this period. An MRI and SPECT demonstrated bilateral medial temporal pathology. This case represents a further instance of a relatively focal retrograde amnesia following brain damage. We review other reported cases with focal retrograde amnesia and consider theoretical and neuroanatomical accounts for the present case. Two factors may account for her amnesic patterns: a partial disruption of the store for premorbid binding codes (i.e., information that multimodal feature representations occurred synchronously); along with a relative preservation of the encoding process required to develop new synchronous codes.
- Anterograde amnesia
- Medial temporal lobe
- Retrograde amnesia
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience