Acquired amnesia in childhood: A single case study

Stefano Vicari, Deny Menghini, Margherita Di Paola, Laura Serra, Alberto Donfrancesco, Paola Fidani, Giuseppe Maria Milano, Giovanni Augusto Carlesimo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report the case of C.L., an 8-year-old child who, following the surgical removal of an ependymoma from the left cerebral ventricle at the age of 4 years, developed significant difficulties in retaining day-to-day events and information. A thorough neuropsychological analysis documented in C.L. a severe anterograde amnesic syndrome, characterised by normal short-term memory, but poor performance on episodic long-term memory tests. In particular, C.L. demonstrated virtually no ability to recollect new verbal information several minutes after the presentation. As for semantic memory, C.L. demonstrated general semantic competencies, which, depending on the test, ranged from the level of a 6-year-old girl to a level corresponding to her actual chronological age. Finding a patient who, despite being severely impaired in the ability to recollect new episodic memories, still demonstrates at least partially preserved abilities to acquire new semantic knowledge suggests that neural circuits implicated in the memorisation of autobiographical events and factual information do not overlap completely. This case is examined in the light of growing literature concerned with the dissociation between episodic and semantic memory in childhood amnesia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)704-715
Number of pages12
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Anterograde amnesic syndrome
  • Episodic long-term memory
  • Fornix
  • Hippocampus
  • Semantic long-term memory
  • Short-term memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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