Transient Global Amnesia

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By Lauren Kolacki

Transient Global Amnesia is a less common condition characterized by sudden onset of temporary memory loss and confusion. During an episode, an individual can become severely disoriented, forgetting where they are and how they got there. In most cases, the person experiencing this condition will remember who they are and recognize their family members but everything else becomes fuzzy. Once the person returns to a regular state of mind, their memory is usually intact, and they will have no recollection of their black out.
Researchers have yet to pinpoint a direct cause for Transient Global Amnesia, but studies have shown that the following factors may trigger the condition;
• A vascular etiology, such as venous flow abnormalities
• Hypoxia (deficiency of oxygen supply) and/or ischemia (deficiency of blood
• A relation to migraine (some studies have shown that history of migraine is
associated with TGA)
• Epilepsy
• Psychological factors
• Sudden immersion in cold or hot water • Strenuous physical activity
• Sexual intercourse
• Medical procedures, such as angiography or endoscopy
• Mild head trauma
• Acute emotional distress, as might be provoked by bad news, conflict or overwork
Unfortunately, because of the lack of knowledge, there is no known prevention or treatment for this condition. Being observant of activities done before an episode could lead you to decreasing the number of triggers in your lifestyle. Talking to someone about Transient Global Amnesia can help an individual cope with the unsettling feeling that accompanies this condition.