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Name of Symptom/Sign:
Retrograde amnesia
ICD-10 R41.2
ICD-O: {{{ICDO}}}
ICD-9 780.9
MedlinePlus {{{MedlinePlus}}}
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DiseasesDB {{{DiseasesDB}}}

Retrograde amnesia is a form of amnesia where someone will be unable to recall events that occurred before the onset of amnesia. The term is used to categorise patterns of symptoms, rather than to indicate a particular cause or etiology. Both retrograde amnesia and anterograde amnesia can occur together in the same patient, and commonly result from damage to the brain regions most closely associated with episodic/declarative memory: the medial temporal lobes and especially the hippocampus.

See also

References & Bibliography

Key texts



  • Brown, A. S. (2002). Consolidation theory and retrograde amnesia in humans , Psychonomic Bulletin and Review 9, 403-25.
  • Burnham, W. H. (1903). Retroactive Amnesia: Illustrative cases and a tentative explanation , American Journal of Psychology 14, 382-96.
  • Fishbein, W., McGaugh, J. L., and Swarz, J. R(1971),., Retrograde amnesia: Electroconvulsive shock effects after termination of rapid eye movement sleep deprivation , Science 172, 80-82.
  • Kim, J. J., and Fanselow, M. S. (1992). Modality-specific retrograde amnesia of fear , Science 256, 675-7
  • Squire, L. R. and Alvarez, P. (1995). Retrograde amnesia and memory consolidation: a neurobiological perspective , Current Opinion in Neurobiology 5, 169-77.
  • Squire, L. R., Slater, P. C., and Chace, P. M. (1975). Retrograde amnesia: temporal gradient in very long-term memory following electroconvulsive therapy , Science 187, 77-9
  • Squire, L. R., Cohen, N. J. and Zouzounis, J. A. (1984). Preserved memory in retrograde amnesia: sparing of a recently acquired skill , Neuropsychologia 22 145-52;
  • Stratton, G. M. (1919). Retroactive hypermnesia and other emotional effects on memory , Psychological Review 26, 474-86.
  • Williams, M. (1969) Traumatic retrograde amnesia and normal forgetting. In: G.A. Talland and N.C. Waught (eds) The Pathology of Memory, New York: Academic Press.

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