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Neurologist. 2009 Mar;15(2):71-9. doi: 10.1097/NRL.0b013e318188040d.

Understanding memory dysfunction.

Author information

1
Center for Translational Cognitive Neuroscience, Bedford VA Hospital, Bedford, MA 01730, USA. abudson@bu.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although traditionally memory has been viewed as a simple concept, converging and complementary evidence from patient studies and more recent neuroimaging research suggest that memory is a collection of mental abilities that use different neuroanatomical systems within the brain. Neurologic injury may cause damage to one or more of these memory systems.

REVIEW SUMMARY:

In this review a number of different memory systems are discussed, including their function, neuroanatomy, and the different disorders that disrupt them. Episodic memory, the most clinically relevant memory system, depends upon the hippocampus and other medial temporal lobe structures, the limbic system, and the frontal lobes. Several other kinds of memory are contrasted with episodic memory, including semantic memory, simple classic conditioning, procedural memory, priming, and working memory.

CONCLUSION:

Improved understanding of these different types of memory will aid the clinician in the diagnosis and treatment of the memory disorders of their patients. As more specific therapeutic strategies are developed for the treatment of diseases which cause memory dysfunction, this knowledge will become increasingly important.

PMID:
19276784
DOI:
10.1097/NRL.0b013e318188040d
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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