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Wiest, G. Brainin, E. (2010). Neuropsychoanalytic Findings in a Patient with Bilateral Lesions of the Amygdala. Neuropsychoanalysis, 12(2):193-200.

(2010). Neuropsychoanalysis, 12(2):193-200

Original Articles

Neuropsychoanalytic Findings in a Patient with Bilateral Lesions of the Amygdala

Gerald Wiest and Elisabeth Brainin

We present the clinical and neuropsychological findings of a patient with selective bilateral lesions of the amygdala. A detailed neuropsychological examination revealed a specific deficit of episodic autobiographic memory, while the memory related to autobiographic facts was intact. We also report the course of the patient's psychoanalytic therapy, which he underwent for treatment of recurrent panic attacks. The most striking finding during therapy was the patient's inability to produce free associations, which hampered adequate psychoanalytic interpretations and the psychoanalytic process in general. The selective memory impairment, the absence of free associations, and the occurrence of panic attacks despite bilateral lesions of the amygdala are discussed within the context of current neuroscientific findings. To our knowledge, this case study represents the first report of a psychoanalytic therapy in a patient with bilateral lesions of the amygdala.

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