University of Wisconsin–Madison Medical College of Wisconsin

Verbal Amnesia Secondary to Unilateral Infarct of the Mediodorsal Thalamic Nucleus

Haley Pysick, MD; Donn Dexter, MD; Christopher Lindsay, MD

WMJ. 2021;120(3):247-249.

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Introduction: The mediodorsal nucleus is a subcomponent of the thalamus hypothesized to have a role in memory pathways. Given the limited number of reported cases and associated images, its clinical significance has not yet been fully elucidated.

Case Presentation: We report the case of a 53-year-old man who presented with verbal amnesia, including deficits of both recall and recognition. High-resolution magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated a well-defined infarct contained within the mediodorsal nucleus.

Discussion: Current literature reports a range of conclusions regarding the extent to which the mediodorsal nucleus is involved in memory pathways. Several case series have attempted to localize infarcts by combining neuropsychology testing with imaging but were constrained by dated imaging modalities often dispersed with impurities.

Conclusion: Our case demonstrates that isolated lesions of the mediodorsal nucleus can lead to deficits in both recall and recognition and that high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging is necessary when a thalamic infarct is suspected.

Author Affiliations: Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics, Iowa City, Iowa (Pysick); Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic Health System, Eau Claire, Wisconsin (Dexter); Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic Health System, Eau Claire, Wisconsin (Lindsay).
Corresponding Author: Donn Dexter, MD, 1400 Bellinger St, Mayo Clinic Health System, Eau Claire, WI 54703; phone 715.838.5222; email
Funding/Support: None declared.
Financial Disclosures: None declared.
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