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May 1979

The Pattern of Memory Loss Resulting From Intravenously Administered Diazepam

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychology, New York University (Ms Clark and Dr Glanzer), and the Departments of Psychiatry (Ms Clark) and Anesthesiology (Dr Turndorf), New York University Medical Center.

Arch Neurol. 1979;36(5):296-300. doi:10.1001/archneur.1979.00500410074011

• A word recognition task was designed to determine the stage in memory affected by a single 10-mg intravenous injection of diazepam and the duration of the effect. Injection in three experimental subjects produced an anterograde amnesia for the 14 to 24-minute period immediately after injection. Memory loss resulted from impaired storage, the stage during which information is entered into memory. Retention and retrieval stages of memory were unaffected. This temporary amnesia may result from increased inhibition in the hippocampal system produced by diazepam, which shares many properties with the inhibitory neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid.

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