Clinical disorders of memory are believed to occur from the dysfunction of either the mesial temporal lobe, the mesial thalamus, or the basal forebrain. Fibre tract damage at the level of the fornix has only inconsistently produced amnesia. A patient is reported who suffered a cerebrovascular accident involving the posterior limb of the left internal capsule that resulted in a persistent and severe disorder of verbal memory. The inferior extent of the lesion effectively disconnected the mesial thalamus from the amygdala and the frontal cortex by disrupting the ventral amygdalofugal and thalamic-frontal pathways as they course through the diencephalon. This case demonstrates that an isolated lesion may cause memory loss without involvement of traditional structures associated with memory and may explain memory disturbances in other white matter disease such as multiple sclerosis and lacunar state.
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