Thalamic amnesia: Korsakoff syndrome due to left thalamic infarction

Monroe Cole, M. D. Winkelman, J. C. Morris, J. E. Simon, T. A. Boyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


In order to support the concept that a lesion of the thalamus is sufficient to cause a Korsakoff syndrome, we are presenting 5 patients, all of whom developed the syndrome after sustaining a left (dominant) thalamic infarction. Two patients had pure thalamic strokes followed by a permanent Korsakoff syndrome. One of these patients was studied with neuropsychometric testing, as well as with a modern MRI scan. In 2 other patients, clinical and imaging data indicate that infarction was not limited to the thalamus. Another patient had bilateral thalamic infarcts but only a temporary Korsakoff syndrome. Neuropathological data are needed to elucidate the exact anatomical substrate of dominant thalamic Korsakoff syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-67
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 1992


  • Amnesia
  • Amnestic syndromes
  • Korsakoff syndrome
  • Memory disorders
  • Thalamus


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