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Relative preservation of ‘animate' knowledge in an atypical presentation of herpes simplex virus encephalitis

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A comprehensive battery of neuropsychological tests designed to assess primary cognitive functions, including language and semantic memory, was given to MG, a patient with confirmed herpes simplex virus encephalitis. MG's initial jargon aphasia resolved over time to leave her with a mild phonological impairment. She had a very mild amnesia that was worse for verbal material and a category-specific impairment of semantic memory. This latter impairment resulted in a significant anomia that was worse for manmade/artefact items than for animate kinds. Her naming difficulties were associated with a mild impairment in comprehension that was not specific to category or feature type. MRI revealed a strongly asymmetric and atypical distribution of pathology in MG with the disease affecting the left medial temporal lobe, temporal pole, left frontotemporal and temporoparietal regions.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13554790590944591

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, University of Manchester, UK 2: Speech and Language Therapy Department, Nottingham City Hospital, UK

Publication date: June 1, 2005

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