One of the most famous patients in medical history

The completeness of the destruction didn’t surprise Squire–viral encephalitis consumes tissue with a ruthless, almost surgical, precision. What shocked him was how familiar the images seemed. Thirty years earlier, as a PhD student at MIT, Squire had worked alongside a group studying a man known as “H .M. ,” one of the most famous patients in medical history. When H.M.-his real name was Henry Molaison, but scientists shrouded his identity throughout his life–was seven years old, he was hit by a bicycle and landed hard on his head. Soon afterward, he developed seizures and started blacking out. At sixteen, he had his first grand mal seizure, the kind that affects the entire brain; soon, he was losing consciousness up to ten times a day.

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