Transient global amnesia (TGA) is a sudden an episode of confusion and memory loss in an otherwise alert individual. It is not caused by common neurological conditions like epilepsy or stroke.
During an episode of transient global amnesia, a person experiences difficulties in forming new memories (anterograde amnesia) and struggles to recall recent memories (retrograde amnesia). They may have trouble remembering their current location or how they arrived there. They may be unable to recollect ongoing events and repeatedly ask the same questions due to the inability to retain answers. Additionally, they may draw a blank when trying to remember events from the recent past, whether it be a day, a month, or even a year ago.
This condition primarily affects individuals in middle or older age. Despite the memory impairment, people with transient global amnesia typically retain their personal identity and can recognize familiar individuals. These episodes usually last for a few hours, rarely extending up to 24 hours. As the person recovers, their memory of events and circumstances gradually returns. Although transient global amnesia is not a severe condition, it can be distressing for those experiencing it.
Transient global amnesia is characterized by a sudden inability to create new memories. Additionally, individuals may experience difficulty in recollecting memories from recent hours, days, or even longer periods in the past. It is crucial to investigate and eliminate other potential causes of amnesia once this symptom is identified.
To be diagnosed with transient global amnesia, the following signs and symptoms should be present:
People experiencing transient global amnesia typically do not:
Transient global amnesia is a condition characterized by certain symptoms and history that can help in diagnosing it. These include:
If someone suddenly becomes confused and forgets what just happened, it’s important to seek medical help right away. This could be a sign of a serious condition that requires immediate attention. If the person is too confused to call for help themselves, it’s crucial to call an ambulance for them. While transient global amnesia is not dangerous, it can be challenging to distinguish it from other life-threatening illnesses that can also cause sudden memory loss.
The exact cause of transient global amnesia is not known, and the factors contributing to the condition are not fully understood. There is a potential association between transient global amnesia and a history of migraines, although the underlying reasons for this link remain unclear. Another possible cause is related to issues with the flow of blood, such as the overfilling of veins due to blockages or other problems leading to venous congestion.
Although the occurrence of transient global amnesia following these events is very rare, some commonly reported triggers include:
The primary risk factors associated with transient global amnesia include:
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