Transient global amnesia

Common Name(s)

Transient global amnesia

Transient global amnesia is a sudden, but temporary, episode of memory loss that is not caused by a more common neurological (brain related) condition, such as a stroke or seizure. An affected person typically forgets memories about a recent or current event. For example, a person may not know where they are or how they arrived. It is also common for an affected person to lose track of the current situation, which may cause them to repeat questions that were already answered. The main symptom of transient global amnesia includes sudden memory loss that lasts no more than 24 hours followed by a gradual return of memory.

There is no known cause of transient global amnesia. Common events that are associated with transient global amnesia include exposure to hot or cold water, strenuous physical activity, certain medical procedures (such as angiography and endoscopy), mild head trauma, and emotional distress. Risk factors include age (individuals older than 50 have a greater chance of having transient global amnesia) and a history of migraines. Diagnosis of transient global amnesia depends on an individual’s symptoms while also ruling out more serious causes of memory loss (such as a stroke, seizure or major head injury). Brain imaging (MRI or CT) and evaluation of the brain’s electrical activity (EEG) may be necessary to help rule out these causes. Once a more serious cause of temporary memory loss is ruled out, a doctor will use findings from both a physical and cognitive exam to confirm the diagnosis. There is not a treatment available for transient global amnesia. Fortunately, it is not associated with additional medical or cognitive problems and additional episodes of memory loss are not common.

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Condition Specific Organizations

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Scientific Literature

Articles from the PubMed Database

Research articles describe the outcome of a single study. They are the published results of original research.
The terms "Transient global amnesia" returned 128 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Reversible Cerebral Vasoconstriction Syndrome Presenting with Transient Global Amnesia.
 

Author(s): Kenji Isahaya, Kensuke Shinohara, Masashi Akamatu, Takahiro Shimizu, Kenzo Sakurai, Makoto Shiraishi, Hisanao Akiyama, Yasuhiro Hasegawa

Journal: Intern. Med.. 2017 ;56(12):1569-1573.

 

A 65-year-old man who had been diagnosed with transient global amnesia (TGA) 15 years previously was admitted to hospital with complaints of amnesia and headache. His symptoms improved on day-2. The initial brain MRI and electroencephalography findings were normal. He was diagnosed ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Long-Term Outcome in Patients With Transient Global Amnesia: A Population-Based Study.
 

Author(s): Julieta E Arena, Robert D Brown, Jay Mandrekar, Alejandro A Rabinstein

Journal: Mayo Clin. Proc.. 2017 03;92(3):399-405.

 

To study the long-term risk of cerebrovascular events, seizures, and cognitive impairment in patients with transient global amnesia (TGA).

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Transient epileptic amnesia secondary to hippocampal dysplasia mimicking transient global amnesia.
 

Author(s): A A Fouchard, J Biberon, K Mondon, B de Toffol

Journal: Seizure. 2016 Dec;43():23-25.

 

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Reviews from the PubMed Database

Review articles summarize what is currently known about a disease. They discuss research previously published by others.
The terms "Transient global amnesia" returned 7 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

[Idiopathic transient global amnesia].
 

Author(s): Olivier Véran, Marie Barré, Olivier Casez, Laurent Vercueil

Journal: Psychol Neuropsychiatr Vieil. 2008 Dec;6(4):265-75.

 

Transient global amnesia (TGA) is characterized by a severe disturbance of memory, occurring rapidly, lasting less than a day and mainly affecting elderly subjects. During its acute phase, it is characterized by a severe anterograde amnesia, partial retrograde amnesia and anxiety ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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[Transient global amnesia: a review. II. Neurocognitive analysis].
 

Author(s): J M Ruiz-Vargas, E Marín-García

Journal: Rev Neurol. ;46(2):115-22.

 

Transient global amnesia (TGA) is a neuropsychological syndrome characterized by an abrupt and temporary loss of capacity of creating new memories and whose etiology is still unclear. AIM. To review available knowledge about the status of different memory systems when TGA is suffered ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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[Transient global amnesia: a review. I. Clinical aspects].
 

Author(s): E Marín-Garcia, J M Ruiz-Vargas

Journal: Rev Neurol. ;46(1):53-60.

 

Transient global amnesia (TGA) is a neuropsychological syndrome in which a sudden, temporary loss of the capacity of creating new memories and a retrograde amnesia of variable intensity occur, whereas consciousness, personal identity and attention are preserved.

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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