Severe amnesia following bilateral medial temporal lobe damage occurring on two distinct occasions

G. Di Gennaro, L. G. Grammaldo, P. P. Quarato, V. Esposito, A. Mascia, A. Sparano, G. N. Meldolesi, A. Picardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A comprehensive neuropsychological assessment was performed on a 38-year-old woman with drug-resistant right temporal lobe epilepsy before temporal lobectomy, during a 2-year follow-up period, and approximately 3 years after surgery when she developed a malignant glioma in the left medial temporal lobe (MTL). Both before and after epilepsy surgery, memory function was normal. When the tumour was discovered, the patient suffered from severe retrograde and anterograde amnesia, whereas working memory and the other cognitive abilities were preserved. Compared with other cases of bilateral temporal lesion, this case is peculiar because the damage occurred on two distinct occasions. It suggests that only one MTL can allow normal memory function, or can take over the function normally subserved by a dysfunctional contralateral MTL when the dysfunction is marked and prolonged, such as in chronic epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-133
Number of pages5
JournalNeurological Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006


  • Brain tumour
  • Epilepsy surgery
  • Global amnesia
  • Memory
  • Neuropsychological tests
  • Temporal lobe epilepsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology


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