[Skip to Navigation]
August 1995

Anterograde Memory Impairment in Pick's Disease

Author Affiliations

National Center for Neurogenic Communication Disorders University of Arizona, Bldg 71 Tucson, AZ 85721

Arch Neurol. 1995;52(8):742. doi:10.1001/archneur.1995.00540320014002

Hodges and Gurd1 presented an interesting case of frontal Pick's disease in a patient who was followed up over an 18-month period of decline in cognitive performance. In their attempts to relate the neuropsychologic observations to postmortem findings, the authors suggested that it was likely that the significant anterograde amnesia for verbal and nonverbal material observed in this man "was largely due to medial temporal lobe pathological features, with perhaps a contribution from frontal disease."1(p826)

We would like to suggest that the frontal lobe damage alone might be adequate to explain the poor anterograde memory performance of their patient. Several studies support such a claim. Petrides and Milner2 found that individuals with left frontal-lobe excisions, excluding Broca's area, were impaired on verbal and nonverbal long-term memory tasks. Similarly, Coslett and colleagues3 described an individual with a focal lesion of Broca's area who exhibited transient aphasia with