Remote memory deficits in transient epileptic amnesia

Fraser Milton, Nils Muhlert, Dominika M. Pindus, Christopher R. Butler, Narinder Kapur, Kim S. Graham, Adam Z.J. Zeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Transient epileptic amnesia is a form of temporal lobe epilepsy in which sufferers often complain of irretrievable loss of remote memories. We used a broad range of memory tests to clarify the extent and nature of the remote memory deficits in patients with transient epileptic amnesia. Performance on standard tests of anterograde memory was normal. In contrast, there was a severe impairment of memory for autobiographical events extending across the entire lifespan, providing evidence for the occurrence of 'focal retrograde amnesia' in transient epileptic amnesia. There was a milder impairment of personal semantic memory, most pronounced for midlife years. There were limited deficits of public semantic memory for recent decades. These results may reflect subtle structural pathology in the medial temporal lobes or the effects of the propagation of epileptiform activity through the network of brain regions responsible for long-term memory, or a combination of these two mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1368-1379
Number of pages12
JournalBrain
Volume133
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Autobiographical memory
  • Focal retrograde amnesia
  • Remote memory
  • Transient epileptic amnesia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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