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Published on : Mar 14, 2014
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Slide 1 - Acquired Amnesia in Childhood: A Single Case StudyC. L. Nicole E. Iannone
Slide 2 - Who is it? C. L. 8-year old girl
Slide 3 - What Went Wrong? Surgical removal of a brain tumor from the left cerebral ventricle at the age of 4. Healthy until 3 years, 9 months, difficulty with balancing and walking. Brain exam identified a tumor in the left lateral and third ventricles with abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the ventricles. Signs of elevated blood pressure in the brain. 9 days after exam underwent surgical removal of tumor 14 months after the tumor’s removal, a new MRI showed a lesion to the head of the left caudate nucleus, which was surgically removed; assumed to be tissue destruction due to radiation.
Slide 4 - Nature of the Damage
Slide 5 - Nature of the Damage Diffuse damage Level of damage between tiny and massive An area of cortical-subcortical damage at the level of the caudal portion of the left frontal lobe. At the cortical area, the superior gyrus and cingulate gyrus were damaged. At the subcortical leve, the corpus callosum, white matter surrounding the front of the left lateral ventricle, the caudate nucleus, the thalamus, the superior colliculus, and the fornix were damaged. Because of the enlargement of the left ventricle, the left hippocampus slipped down in relation to the contralateral hippocampus, with consensual twisting of the left fornix.
Slide 6 - Memory Results from testing: Could not recover recent verbal data from episodic long-term memory. Performed well on short-term verbal tests. Problems with episodic visual-spatial memory: did not have any memory of a visual sequence after a 5 minute delay. Can read and write but has some difficulty.
Slide 7 - Memory Anterograde Amnesic Syndrome: Normal short-term memory but poor explicit long-term memory Trouble remembering day-to-day events and information Main problem was inability to consolidate new episodic memory traces in the episodic memory system Verbal abilities equivalent to her chronological age
Slide 8 - What We Can Learn Some case studies showed that semantic abilities are dependent on the workings of episodic memory (Squire & Zola, 1998). The case of C. L. supports a theory of at least partially different routes to memory for autobiographical and factual information. Adds to literature supporting a theory that children who cannot store episodic information in memory can store semantic memory
Slide 9 - What We Can Learn Theory is hippocampal functioning is necessary for episodic functioning Perirhinal cortex might be responsible for semantic memory Damage in the left hippocampus and a sectioning of the fornix disconnecting the mesial temporal structures from the diencephalic nuclei likely responsible for the episodic memory deficit
Slide 10 - Outlook No specific therapies being attempted After 4 years C. L. could increase her factual knowledge and revealed a lexical-semantic repertoire similar to children of the same age
Slide 11 - Questions Still to Be Answered It remains unclear whether or not C. L. will ever be able to retain autobiographical memory. Is this situation different for children than it is for adults?