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Please help, what is Transient Global Amnesia?

(16 Posts)
fruitcake Wed 15-Dec-04 22:58:19

My mother's just been diagnosed with this and I can't find anything on the Internet that answers my questions. Does anyone know anything about this? I'm terribly worried.

Carla Wed 15-Dec-04 23:23:57

No idea fruity, sorry. Just bumping this for you.XXX

spacedonkey Thu 16-Dec-04 00:18:14

Article about TGA

Sorry to hear about your mother fruitcake, you could post your questions here and someone may know the answers?

spacedonkey Thu 16-Dec-04 00:21:01

Transient global amnesia: A passing episode of short-term memory loss without other signs or symptoms of neurological impairment. In transient global amnesia (TGA) the individual does not lose consciousness but does lose the ability to form new lasting memories. Motor function is not affected. The individual may be disoriented to place and time, may recognize that something is wrong, and may become distressed at this realization. The average age of patients with TGA is 62 (range: 47-80) and the mean duration of the episode is 5.7 hours, with a range of 20 minutes to 20 hours.

The recommended criteria for the diagnosis of TGA are:

1. Attacks must be witnessed and information must be available from a capable observer.
2. Clear-cut anterograde amnesia must be present during the attack.
3. Clouding of consciousness and loss of personal identity must be absent and cognitive impairment must be limited to amnesia.
4. There must be no accompanying focal neurological symptoms or signs, and epileptic features must be absent.
5. Attacks must resolve within 24 hours.
6. Patients with a recent head injury or known active epilepsy are excluded.

Patients with many other clinical ­entities may present with amnesia and these may need to be ruled out before the diagnosis of TGA can be made. These conditions include alcoholic "blackouts," TIA (transient ischemic attack), temporal lobe epilepsy, brain tumor, drug reactions, and intracerebral or subarachnoid hemorrhage.

spacedonkey Thu 16-Dec-04 00:21:17

Do you know what caused it fruitcake?

spacedonkey Thu 16-Dec-04 00:25:05

From what I'm reading it seems to be linked to migraine, lasts about 5 hours and has no treatment. It does say it's not a sign of stroke/cardiovascular disease though, which hopefully is reassuring.

spacedonkey Thu 16-Dec-04 00:35:41

A TGA attack can be precipitated by heavy physical exercise, sex or swimming in cold water apparently.

People have a TGA episode will not be disorientated, but are temporarily unable to make new memories, and characteristically ask pertinent questions repeatedly.

fruitcake Thu 16-Dec-04 19:57:07

Thank you for going to so much trouble, spacedonkey. My mother is not telling me much, either because she doesn't remember and/or doesn't want to frighten me. Apparently she was going out with some of her "pals" for dinner and the last thing she can remember is getting stroppy with the waiter because he was rude. Next thing she knew, she & my stepfather were waiting in the emergency room at the hospital. It was 2 am. They're doing all sorts of tests on her, which is reassuring, but she does tend to drink more than she should (not alcoholic but likes her G&Ts)& she does tend to be forgetful. Also, my stepfather retired 2 days ago & they will be moving. I know she's under a great deal of stress. She's 67.

fruitcake Thu 16-Dec-04 20:02:14

When I spoke to my mother last night, she couldn't remember our last conversation (the day before), couldn't remember if ds is walking yet, had trouble putting her clothes on correctly and that sort of thing. She says memory is returning to her in bits, especially when talking to me, but feels very spacey still.

spacedonkey Thu 16-Dec-04 20:06:06

Have you spoken to your stepfather and/or any doctors/medical staff about it fruitcake? You must be very worried

fruitcake Thu 16-Dec-04 20:10:49

I spoke to my stepfather but he's completely stressed out & is probably under strict orders to keep "mum" (ha ha). They live in Washington, D.C. where they've been posted for the past 5 years. Being over here, there's not much I can do. Yes, I'm definitely worried.

spacedonkey Thu 16-Dec-04 20:13:43

oh how awful for you!

from the information i gleaned searching the internet (and i'm not medically qualified in any way) it did seem to suggest that TGA is characterised by a short-term inability to make new memories, whereas "old" memories stay intact (no loss of identity for instance) and no other neurological symptoms (like disorientation).

Could it have been a transient ischemic attack?

spacedonkey Thu 16-Dec-04 20:15:07

btw it is awful when something like this happens and you are so far away - my mum had a stroke in italy a couple of years ago - we did all go out there, but nonetheless, i remember that dreadful feeling of being helpless and out of reach

fruitcake Mon 20-Dec-04 21:32:59

hello spacedonkey... Mummy seems to have recovered. Sounds like her old self (although I quite liked the "sweetness" of slightly disoriented Mum -- are we ever satisfied?) I haven't been on MN for awhile as dd, ds AND dh are all ill with a virus. Hell of a week. I feel awful but think I'm more tired than ill. NOT looking forward to making Christmas dinner. I really should stop moaning!

jabberwocky Mon 20-Dec-04 21:48:42

We have a friend with this. The first two or three times it happened it was during or after sex - not sure about specifics. She has had at least two more attacks that they weren't sure how they were brought on. Overall, I don't think it has really affected her life. She is a very intelligent "with-it" kind of lady in her late '50's. She did decide to retire early when she had a couple of attacks relatively close together but still manages the apartment building that they own. Maybe she thought it was stress from her job. Not sure. I don't think she has had one in a while though.

fruitcake Tue 21-Dec-04 21:15:37

Can she still drive?

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