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July 1983

The Characterization of an Amnesic Syndrome Following Hypoxic Ischemic Injury

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Neurology, Cornell University Medical College, New York (Dr Volpe); and the Department of Psychology, Princeton (NJ) University (Dr Hirst).

Arch Neurol. 1983;40(7):436-440. doi:10.1001/archneur.1983.04050070066017

• We used clinical analysis and criteria derived from the experimental studies of classic amnesic syndromes to characterize the amnesia that follows hypoxic ischemic brain injury from cardiac or respiratory arrest. The results show that patients with hypoxic ischemic amnesia have several neuropsychological features in common with other amnesics, including intact short-term memory, severely depressed free recall, and less depressed recognition of visual and verbal material. Unlike amnesics with alcoholic Korsakoff's syndrome, they are oriented and do not confabulate. Hypoxic ischemic brain injury is a common hospital occurrence, and a study of the characteristics of the amnesia that can occur after such injury should enlarge our understanding of the amnesic syndromes.

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