Accelerated long-term forgetting: a newly identified memory impairment in epilepsy

J Clin Neurosci. 2013 Nov;20(11):1486-91. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2013.04.037. Epub 2013 Sep 26.


Recently, a pattern referred to as accelerated long-term forgetting (ALF) has been described in patients with epilepsy. In ALF, acquisition and retention over standard delayed recall intervals (up to 30 minutes) tend to be intact, but there is an abnormally rapid rate of forgetting over delays of days or weeks. ALF is associated with everyday memory complaints as well as impairments in autobiographical memory, but goes largely undetected by traditional neuropsychological measures. We consider here the characteristics of ALF and possible contributors to its underlying pathophysiology. Overall, a better understanding of this relatively newly recognised memory disorder should improve clinical treatment.

Keywords: Epilepsy; Memory; Neuropsychology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Epilepsy / complications*
  • Humans
  • Memory Disorders / etiology*
  • Memory Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Time Factors