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Transient Global Amnesia

What is transient global amnesia?

Transient global amnesia is when one has a sudden but temporary loss of memory that is not caused by a common condition, such as epilepsy or a stroke. Those affected will have no history of head trauma or active epilepsy. They will not seize during episodes. These episodes typically last for a few hours. Those who are middle aged or older are most often affected by this condition.

What are the symptoms of transient global amnesia?

There are specific signs and symptoms that must be present in order to confirm transient global amnesia, including sudden memory loss, retention of personal identity, no signs of brain damage, and normal cognition. 

Episodes of memory loss will last for less than 24 hours, with memory slowly returning. Those affected will most likely repeat the same questions, typically following the lines of “how did I get here?”

What causes transient global amnesia?

The cause of this condition is unknown, but medical professionals suspect that a history of migraines may be connected. 

Possible triggers have been identified, and they include strenuous physical activity, emotional distress, mild head trauma, sudden immersion or hot or cold water, sexual activity, or certain medical procedures. Risk factors include being older than 50 and having a history of migraines. 

How is transient global amnesia diagnosed?

A diagnosis typically comes after doctors rule out other serious conditions. To do so, they will perform multiple tests, including physical examinations, MRIs, CT scans, and EEGs. 

What are the treatments for transient global amnesia?

There is no treatment for this condition; it resolves itself after a short period of time. 

Where can I find out more about transient global amnesia?

Transient Global Amnesia Articles