Persistent autobiographical amnesia: a case report

Claudia Repetto, Rosa Manenti, Maria Cotelli, Orazio Zanetti, Carlo Miniussi, R. Manenti, V. Sansone, M. Cotelli, D. Perani, V. Garibotto, O. Zanetti, G. Meola, C. Miniussi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


We describe a 47-year-old man who referred to the Emergency Department for sudden global amnesia and left mild motor impairment in the setting of increased arterial blood pressure. The acute episode resolved within 24 hours. Despite general recovery and the apparent transitory nature of the event, a persistent selective impairment in recollecting events from some specific topics of his personal life became apparent. Complete neuropsychological tests one week after the acute onset and 2 months later demonstrated a clear retrograde memory deficit contrasting with the preservation of anterograde memory and learning abilities. One year later, the autobiographical memory deficit was unmodified, except for what had been re-learnt. Brain MRI was normal while H20 brain PET scans demonstrated hypometabolism in the right globus pallidus and putamen after 2 weeks from onset, which was no longer present one year later. The absence of a clear pathomechanism underlying focal amnesia lead us to consider this case as an example of functional retrograde amnesia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-17
Number of pages5
JournalBehavioural Neurology
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Amnesia, Retrograde
  • Globus Pallidus
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Mental Recall
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Orientation
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Putamen
  • Self Concept
  • Time Factors


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