What is the pathophysiology of memory impairment in posterior cerebral artery (PCA) stroke?

Updated: Jul 30, 2018
  • Author: Erek K Helseth, MD; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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Infarction of the medial temporal lobe, fornices, or medial thalamic nuclei may result in permanent anterograde amnesia. Although traditionally, bilateral infarction has been thought to be required for amnesia, memory functions may be lateralized such that infarction of left-sided structures may have a more lasting impact on verbal function.

Older patients frequently have lasting short-term memory impairment from unilateral PCA territory infarction. In addition, diffusion-weighted Imaging in patients with transient global amnesia has demonstrated lesions in unilateral temporal lobes resulting in temporary amnesia.

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