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Accelerated long term forgetting of real life events in patients with transient epileptic amnesia [Abstract]

Muhlert, Nils, Milton, F. N., Butler, Christopher R. and Zeman, Adam 2009. Accelerated long term forgetting of real life events in patients with transient epileptic amnesia [Abstract]. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry 80 (7) , p. 821.

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Aims: Patients with temporal lobe epilepsy have been shown to forget information at an accelerated rate over days or weeks but not minutes (eg, Blake et al 2000). This accelerated long term forgetting (ALF) is particularly prevalent in patients with transient epileptic amnesia in which the sole or main manifestation of seizures is recurrent periods of amnesia (Butler et al 2007). Although it is known that ALF can affect memory for word lists and abstract designs (Butler et al 2007), questions remain about the effects of ALF on memory for real life events and procedural memory, and the timescale over which ALF is first detectable. This study addresses these outstanding questions. Methods: Patients with transient epileptic amnesia and healthy controls were asked to wear an automatic camera which records the events of the day while exploring a distinctive environment. Memory for these events was then assessed using recall and recognition trials on the same day and after delays of 24 h, 1 week and 3 weeks. Performance on a test of procedural memory, the serial reaction time task (SRTT), was also assessed at each delay. Results: Compared with controls, patients showed ALF for events on recall trials after the 24 h delay. In contrast, the groups did not differ in recognition or SRTT performance throughout. Conclusions: Patients with transient epileptic amnesia show a reduced ability to recall events from everyday life after delays of 24 h. In contrast, they show normal recognition of scenes, and intact procedural memory after delays of 3 weeks. This indicates that ALF occurs at relatively short delays and can impact on everyday memory in patients with transient epileptic amnesia.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN: 0022-3050
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:41

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