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Neuropsychologia. 2009 Dec;47(14):3045-58. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2009.08.002. Epub 2009 Aug 8.

Stroke and episodic memory disorders.

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The Cognitive Neurology Unit, Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


Memory impairments are common after stroke, and the anatomical basis for impairments may be quite variable. To determine the range of stroke-related memory impairment, we identified all case reports and group studies through the Medline database and the Science Citation Index. There is no hypothesis about memory that is unique to stroke, but there are several important facets of memory impairment after stroke: (1) Every node of the limbic system implicated in memory may be damaged by stroke but very rarely in isolation and the combination of amnesia with the associated deficits often illuminates additional aspects of memory functions. (2) Stroke produces amnesia by damage to critical convergence white matter connections of the limbic system, and stroke is the only etiology of amnesia that can delineate the entire pathway of memory and critical convergence points. (3) Stroke also impairs memory, without causing classical amnesia, by damaging brain regions responsible for cognitive processes, some modality specific and some more generally strategic, that are essential for normal learning and recall.

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