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Transient Global Amnesia

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Biology 202
2002 First Paper
On Serendip

Transient Global Amnesia

Miranda White

A little while ago, my father and grandfather were driving in our car together. All of a sudden, my grandfather said that he was feeling dizzy and thought the beginnings of a migraine were coming on. My grandfather is extremely healthy and has an amazing memory, so my father was shocked when not long after, when grandfather asked where Ruthy, his recently deceased wife, was. When my father reminded him that she had died of cancer last year, my grandfather broke into tears, as if he was being told for the first time. In addition, he couldn't even remember what he had just eaten for dinner or any other events of the day. My father drove him straight to the emergency room, worried that he had perhaps just suffered a minor stoke. By the time that he got to the hospital, he was already beginning to regain some of the memories that had been lost. The doctors reassured him that it was not a stroke, but rather a memory disorder called transient global amnesia.

Transient global amnesia (TGA) is a type of amnesia involving the sudden, temporary disturbance in an otherwise healthy person's memory. The other main kinds of amnesia are called anterograde and retrograde amnesia. Anterograde amnesia is a type of memory loss associated with a trauma, disease, or emotional events. It is characterized by the inability to remember new information. (1) Retrograde amnesia is associated with the loss of distant memories usually preceding a given trauma. (2) In transient global amnesia, generally both distant memories and immediate recall are retained, as are language function, attention, visual-spatial and social skills. However, during the period of amnesia, people suffering from the disorder cannot remember recent occurrences nor can they retain any new visual or verbal information for more than a couple minutes. (3) Though patients generally remember their own identities, they are often very confused by their surroundings and the people around them. They continuously ask questions about events that are transpiring, for example where they are, who is with them, what is happening. However, once they are told, they immediate forget the answer, and repeat the question again. (4)

The period of amnesia can last anywhere from one to twenty-four hours. Some people suffer from a headache, dizziness, and nausea while others have only memory loss. TGA generally affects fifty to eighty-year-old men, about 3.4 to 5.2 people per 100,000 per year. (5) People afflicted with transient global amnesia always recover and can remember the memories that were lost during the episode. (6) Once they regain their memory, some people, such as my grandfather, can recall both the episode and the feeling of not being able to remember. However, others never recover the memories of the attack nor the events immediately before.
The cause of TGA remains in dispute. There is convincing evidence that external emotional stresses, such as sexual intercourse, immersion in cold water, or strenuous physical exertion, can trigger the associated loss of memory. (7) For example, my grandfather suffered from TGA directly after taking his sister to the hospital. TGA may be the result of a transient ischemic attack, a "mini-stroke." Transient ischemic attacks are caused by a temporary interruption of the blood flow to the brain. (8) Another possible cause of transient global amnesia is a basilar artery migraine, a type of migraine caused by the abnormal constriction and dilatation of vessel walls. (9)

Patients suffering from transient global amnesia have undergone medical imaging techniques, for example magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission topography (PT), in order to find out what biological changes cause a temporary lapse in memory. The symptoms of transient global amnesia seem to be the result of dysfunction in such regions of the brain as the diencephalon and medial temporal lobes. (4) The diencephalon is composed of the thalamus, epithalamus, subthalamus, and hypothalamus. The thalamus is associated with memory, and changes in its structure have been proven to result in amnesia. (10) Some MRIs have shown evidence of changes in the medial temporal lobes, indicating that patients had suffered from a transient ischemic attack. Nonetheless, many people that have undergone such tests have not shown any changes in the functioning of their brains. (4)

These findings are in line with our neurobiological understanding of memory. Under normal functioning, there are three kinds of memory: working memory, declarative memory, and procedural memory. Working memory allows for short-term recollection, for example, it is responsible for your being able to remember the gist of the sentence you just read. It is associated with the temporary storage of verbal and visual information. The verbal working memory is localized to the frontal regions of the left hemisphere, while spatial working memory involves mainly the right hemispheres. Procedural memory is responsible for cognitive and motor skills, all learned, habitual actions, for example, my ability to type this paper without looking at the keyboard or my ability to ride a bicycle. (12) The anatomical basis for procedural memory appears to be the basil ganglia, thalamus, and the frontal lobes. Declarative memory, associated with the hippocampus, is all experiences and conscious memory, including people, events, objects, facts, figures, and names. The region of the brain termed the medial frontal lobe is particularly responsible for declarative memory function.

There is much evidence proving that damage to the medial frontal lobe, severely affects a person's ability to recall and form long-term memories. The most well-known clinical example involves a patient called H.M. H.M. was afflicted with epilepsy. Surgeons removed both of his medial temporal lobes in an attempt to cure him from his disease. However, in so doing, they profoundly damaged his memory. He could no longer form new memories, though all his memories from before the surgery were retained - in other words he had anterograde amnesia. (11) Therefore, it appears that the lack of functioning and blood supply of the medial temporal lobe produces the symptoms of transient global amnesia, and results in the inability to make and recall autobiographical memories.

Transient global amnesia fortunately has a very positive prognosis - its effects are never permanent and the episodes last for a relatively short period of time. However, the inability to remember can be extraordinarily frightening. It is a natural experiment because it shows fairly clearly that certain parts of the brain are involved with certain kinds of memory. We often see ourselves as unitary beings, but in fact we are made up of many different processes that make up who we are. Although much of the neurobiology associated with memory remains quite mysterious, transient global amnesia helps highlight the particular machinery of our personal narratives.


1)Anterograde amnesia

2)HealthyMe Amnesia

3)E Medicine, Transient Global Amnesia

4)Transient Global Amnesia Case Studies

5)Neuroland, TGA

6)Transient Global Amnesia

7)HealingWell, What Happened to Afterglow

8)Transient Ischemic Attack

9)Basilar Artery Migraine Page

10)The Diencephalon

11)Medial Temporal Lobe

12)The Cognitive and Habit Subsystems , A great image of the anatomy of the brain.



Continuing conversation
(to contribute your own observations/thoughts, post a comment below)

07/18/2005, from a Reader on the Web

Today in our morning paper in “The People’s Pharmacy” column, transient global amnesia was described. Finally I have a name for the strange episode that I experienced several years ago in Paris. A goggle search led me to your very informative site. Thanks.

08/28/2005, from a Reader on the Web

Serendip was helpful re: TGA. I had an episode in Vauvert, France, last March,05 I was out of it for 5 to 6 hours, so my husband says. The emergency room doctor in Nimes, France, stated that it was "dehydration" that caused the loss of memory. After looking up many reports about TGA, my personality was just like the individuals that told about their episode. I was extremely frightened and when we had 6 more days to travel in France, I drank water like crazy. (I felt like it was not dehydration) I couldn't wait to get back to the USA. I had all the tests taken when at my clinic and nothing showed up. I have a history of migraine headaches. I did take a bath before I blacked out. I do vaguely remember filling the tub and I don't remember the water being cold or warm. I did not remember anything during or after the bath; My husband said I was fully dressed, but did not know where I was and kept repeating "where am I";I called him by name and our friends by name ( I don't remember any of this) If there are any more medical reports on TGA could I be receive email. 95% of individuals have never heard of TGA.

10/10/2005, from a Reader on the Web

Dear Serendip, I've had two episodes of Transient Global Amnesia and both occurred shortly after taking Fosamax (for osteoporosis). Both episodes followed working out at a local gym and I am convinced that physical exertion is a trigger. The first episode lasted about 4 hours and the second one lasted about 12 hours. Both times I was in and out of "consciousness". I could remember bits and pieces of conversations. It's a very wierd and frightening experience. My doctor said it rarely occurs more than once and since I've already had two episodes, I'm terrified it will happen again.

10/18/2005, from a Reader on the Web

I am one of the few people who have recurrent episodes of TGA. I have never retained any memory from an episode after the fact. My family has learned to notice predecessors to an attack that usually begin to develop between one to two days before a severe episode. I believe those may actually be mini-TGA episodes but there isn't enough data availabe for me to determine if that is true. The primary behaviors I display are: 1.)repetetive questions; i.e. "Where is my purse?" The same question may be asked several times within a short period of time. 2.) A generalized lack of ability to remain focused on a topic or conversation. 3.) Repetitively asking others to repeat themselves as if I did not hear them the first time. Within a day or two of onset of the above symptoms I usually have a severe episode which is almost always while driving. I may be on my way to the store and end up in a neighboring state. My recent memory is not retained after these episodes but my distant memories are. For instance, immediately upon coming out of my first attack I could remember my childhood phone number but not my new home phone number. Thankfully, my parents still had the same phone number they had when I was a child so were able to determine my location and send help. Within about an hour my short term memory was restored to the time that I left my house but I never recovered any memory of anything that transpired during the event. I have never recovered memories of anything that transpired while in a state of TGA other than a few 'flashbacks' that come to me like quick snapshot photos. Sometimes I will experience the preceding symptoms without it developing into a severe attack and sometimes I will have a severe attack without having displayed any of the precursory symptoms. I was apparently attacked during one episode which was determined after I arrived at my destination nearly two hours late without even realizing I was late. Those waiting for me were shocked to see me arrive with bruises on my throat, arms, and legs which were determined upon physical evaluation to have been caused by having someone's hands gripping me. There was one episode where I was not driving but came out of the spell several blocks from my home at 4:00am with no knowledge of how I had come to be there. I was, however, able to navigate my way back home. My EEG's are normal as are my MRI's. There is no evidence of epilepsy, stroke, or migraines associated with my attacks and no apparent triggers. The statistics on recurrence do not fit my case. I have had recurrent episodes ranging from one month to one year apart consistently for the past several years. Is there any hope for a cure? Right now, I depend on those around me to notice the preceding symptoms and keep an eye on me so that I do not drive alone or go anywhere without an escort until after I've had the episode but that obviously has not been effective. Any advice on how to live with this disorder would be sincerely appreciated. I had initially hoped I would fall within the statistical norm's and that it would subside with few new episodes but that has not been the case. This began in my early thirties and I am now 39 and am beginning to feel as though I have early onset Alzheimers or something. There must be something that can be done for those of us for whom this is not a simple 'once in a lifetime' experience.

11/29/2005, from a Reader on the Web

Yesterday I was diagnosed as having had TGA. I was so glad to have had a name for a most distressing condition that happened to me last August. I still cannot remember 6 to 7 hours of my time that I spent with my daughter, her partner and my 9 months old baby grandaughter, last August. I meant to stay only overnight but the frightening experience of TGA did not allow me to drive myself home again for a week. My daughter called an ambulance. I was taken to hospital but I was discharged before the end of the day, when my memory returned. I could not understand why I could not remember what had happened to me. I had not fallen over or become unconscious.

12/17/2005, from a Reader on the Web

Yesterday morning I was released from the hospital following the third attack that we believe was TGA. The first one occured in 1994 & was actually diagnoised as TGA, but with little information to go along with it. All my attacks have occured immediately after sexual intercourse and I apparently tell my husband that "something is wrong with me, I don't feel right & I can't remember". However, during the time of the "Amnesia" I continue to 'function' as if everything is okay, with the exception of asking the same questions repeatly. During this recent attack I even set up my medications for the week and only knew that I did so by what my husband had told me. When I was aware of what was going on again, I rechecked my meds and sure enough, they were accurate, no mistakes whatsoever. I again had another attack in 1995 which was of a much shorter duration. In all the attacks some of the common denomenators are: occurrance (sexual activity), headache previous to onset, & a total memory loss during the first 2-4 hours, and the ability to verbalize to my husband that I feel something is going wrong in my body, and then to 'function'per my husband telling me later all that I did, such as filling my weekly meds, taking the dog out, giving the Emergency Room staff pertainent information (Dr's phone numbers, my recent lab values, etc.) The time during the amnesia in all attacks has been permanently lost. I have no recall during those hours & what went on. I have been told there has been NO CONFUSION OR hallucination either. In June of 1995 I was found to have renal anureysums on the right renal artery. I lost a kidney through this surgery. There have been no further attacks until two days ago. I am wondering if the is any correlation between the renal anureysums & TGA. I really appreciated reading your information on TGA. Please feel free to e-mail anything else that may be helpful. Is there any documentation of this being a heriditary factor?

01/15/2006, from a Reader on the Web

Was just Googling around about amnesia. Recently saw an episode of "House" on TV and wanted to look up Korsikoff's Syndrome (one of the "conditions" diagnosed on that show) to see if that was what I had. Glad I "only" had transient global amnesia. I had it July 13, 1996, a hot and humid Friday in Washington D.C. I'd been on a high-protein diet for 6 months and had lost 43 pounds. Left work at 5:30, commuted home an hour or so, met friends for coffee at a restaurant, went home around 8 and told my husband, "I think I've had a stroke, I need three aspirin." Took them and went up to bed. Came back five minutes later and said "I think I've had a stroke, I need three aspirin." To make a long story short, he took me to the E.R. where I was "polite" until they wanted to give me an MRI. They gave me an IV tranquilizer so they could give me the test. They found nothing. I remember nothing between leaving work and waking up at noon the next day with a hospital bracelet on my writst. E.R. had referred me to a neurologist, but I didn't go. I went to my primary care physician, who determined I had low sodium, and had lost three more pounds. I'm convinced it was electrolyte depletion from the diet and the hot day. Funny thing, the experience hasn't bothered me at all - I'm even amused. A few years later I went to the hospital to give blood. They put in my SS number and up came all my information, even the cross-streets where I'd worked in D.C. I asked how they had all that info, and the nurse said, "You've been admitted here." I argued that I hadn't and then laughed. I HAD been admitted, but of course I didn't remember. The thing that helped me feel "normal" the next day - I had my husband take me to the county swimming pool. When I jumped into the pool, it was as though I was jumping back into my body. Glad to read the phenomenon (unlike Korsikof's Syndrome) isn't that big a deal. Eloise

01/24/2006, from a Reader on the Web

I had my second episode with TGA last week. This time it did not last as long but on both occasions I was lifting weights. The first occasion was December 2000. I went to the Hospital and after a series of tests, it was concluded that I had TGA. My primary physician was skeptical with the diagnosis. Last week while lifting weights it happened again. I called my wife from my car but drove home. After a few hours I took a long nap. Not normal for me. But I felt very tired. Slept for about 3 hours. Upon rising I believe that most if not all of the episode was over. The first episode lasted about 8 hours. last week about 4-6 hours,since I took a nap still in the TGA period. My question is: Do I dare lift weights again or better what should I do differently to avoid it happening again?

01/31/2006, from a Reader on the Web

I have experienced two episodes of TGA. The first was after a long period of work stress. During that period I had sporadically missed taking my medications for high blood pressure. I was unable to know where I was and how I got there or what I was doing. The episode lasted approximately 6 hours of which the memory is lost. The second, approximately two and a half years later, also followed a long period of work stress affected my past memory, I was driving and knew where I was going but couldn't remember where I had been. I am 61 years old. Samuel Garofalo


Additional comments made prior to 2007

One week ago I experienced and episode of transient global amnesia, caused by a TIA, as diagnosed by the emergency room physician. I am a 60 year old woman with mild hypertension;
beginning stages of Type 2 diabetes; and high cholesterol. The episode lasted approximately
one and a half hours, while I was driving in the car alone. I managed to call my husband, who
directed me to turn off the highway, stop at a parking lot, take an asprin he knew I carried in
my purse. He reached me in 20 minutes and took me to the E.R.

The symptoms were: 20 minutes of driving while totally confused, not clear where I was or where
I had been going; no headache or physical pain; confusion; fear; no awareness of time; unable to
remember what my husband told me after a few seconds.

The greatest concern I have is the possibility of a full stroke, as a TIA can be a precursor to a full
stroke. The steps I have taken include blood pressure medication (25 mgs of atenolol); a baby
asprin a day; added flaxseed oil daily (lowers cholesterol); fish oil capsules daily; vitamin E for
heart health; changes in diet to reduce carbohydrate consumption; lost seven pounds to assist
in lowering insulin resistance and therefore better manage diabetes.

It would have been beneficial to have started precautionary measures before such a frightening
episode! I most certainly will pay serious attention to preventative health measures in the hope
of never experiencing such an event again. Although there seem to be no lingering effects, it
will be a long time before I forget the associated fear. I am reluctant to add statin drugs as they
potentially can cause temporary amnesia, as well as a multitude of other side effects ... Judy, 19 February 2006



I've been diagnosed with TGA after an episode at work. We really thought it was low blood sugar (hypoglcemia) because I came out of the episode shortly after being made to eat some fruit. My sugar tests came back normal, as did everything else that was run, including a 24-hour ambulatory EEG. It\'s nice to know this is really a benign situation, but I don't have any of the "usual" triggers. No physical exertion before, no water immersion, and I\'m a young (35) female. I've now had two episodes - one for about 45 minutes at work and another while driving for about 45 minutes. One site mentioned that less than 3% have more than 3 episodes.

Have there been any studies of sugar levels and what brings a person out of a TGA episode? There doesn't seem to be much to go on with this diagnosis ... Dierdra Barton, 22 March 2006



I am 53 years old and have been in good health. The other night though, I became confused during the dinner conversation and unable to recognize any of the people my wife and kids had been talking about. It turned out that they were all friends and associates of mine, but no amount of prompting could convince me so. At one point, the family got out the church directory, and for the life of me, I could not associate any of the names with the faces. I was clueless. When asked, I couldn't name the current U.S. President. An emergency room physician diagnosed me as having TGA, Transient Global Amnesia. I will see a neurologist in a few days, and am looking forward to finding out more about this condition. I've had mild hangover-like symptoms for 3 days now, and I'll bet they're related ... Charlie, 17 April 2006



I just had my 5th major episode of TGA. I had my first one in my late 40s and I am now 59. All 5 of these episodes were brought on by emotional stress or anxiety. I won't go into detail unless you reply and request it. I have had a few minor episodes with out the complete amnesia. It was interesting reading the other readers comments. Thanks ... Bryan Eldredge, 2 May 2006



Was very happy to find your article after Googling temporal lobe amnesia. While this is very early in my research, you have given me great relief with regard to my older sister's husband. He entered the hospital yesterday evening with no recollection of the prior few hours. He has suffering from high blood pressure (no prior history) and high blood sugar (no prior history). The early diagnosis is TLA or a mild stroke, yet he has a complete lack of typical stroke symptoms. We are still waiting for the MRI results, but you have given me a basis for being optimistic. Thank you ... Reader on the web, 14 May 2006



I had an episode of TGA on Sunday (just 5 days ago). Of course I didn't know then that was what it was. I was at church and sang in the choir, sang a solo and played the organ. However I can't remember doing these activities from halfway through the service on. I was appropriate after church visiting with friends and even driving home. I remember none of this. My husband took me to the ER when her realized I wasn't thinking clearly. By then I was almost back to "normal". The entire episode lasted about three and a half hours. I've been fine since and am going through the tests to rule out other causes for this. I don't have results yet, but feel sure TGA is what it was. I'm waiting for clearance to return to work and driving. My MD has forbidden both for now. Do most patients with TGA return to their lives as they knew them? I really want my life back even though it has only been a few days! ... Laura, 25 May 2006



My father now aged 65 has started experiencing this.he got first attack two weeks after he underwent surgery for prostate and was recovering at home.Now it has happended 3-4 times since then. he loses memeory of event or talks or episode ( past memories) but remembers people and place. he could not remember that he had underwent surgery during the last episode. I shall be greatful If anyone can guide on the following?
a)My father has to undergo now MRI and I am wondering what could be the causes of this?
b)How to manage this?Is there any cure?

Thanks and best regards ... Sunil, 1 June 2006



Two days ago we had a similar frightening situation with my father -- sudden, complete -- although temporary -- memory loss. Found your post with a Google Search. Thanks so much, it's calming me down considerably! Will check back with diagnoses after MRI tomorrow ... Heidi, 20 June 2006



I am grateful to have found this site. I had TGA 3 years ago "out of the blue" and was diagnosed as such after MRI and cat scan came back fine and based on my loss of immediate memory and repetitive questioning "where I am, how did I get here, etc.). I was 47 year old female. Occured at work - no physical exertion invovled, etc. Then, just this last week, while taking a walk with a co-worker, I seemed to have had another TGA episode! I'm now 50, in good health - just expeiencing perimenopause and have developed migraine headaches in the last 6 months. As a result of onset of migraines 6 months ago, my dr had me have an MRI and MRA 7 when they started - both came back fine. I did not go to dr last week with TGA because it seemed so similar to episode 3 years ago. Did have headache for 3 days prior to this TGA and am continuing to have a headache ever since - has anyone ever had this? I am trying not to worry - and that is difficult at times. I wonder if "something else" has happened other than TGA. I feel fine except the headache and now wonder if I now have the ongoing headache due to worry? It's hard to sort out. Has anyone ever had similar feelings/experiences? I did read on the internet about some possible links between migraines and TGA. I also have a friend who wonders if it was not TGA and maybe dehydration? I can\'t sort it all out. This has been scary and disconserting to say the least. Thank you for "listening" ... Kathleen, 7 August 2006



I was released from the hospital last night after suffering a TGA. Of course, the doctors don't know what causes it to occur. All of the tests came out OK & my primary care doctor said this was a one-time thing, & very rarely reoccurred. To be perfectly honest, it scares the hell out of me! He said there is no connection to Alzheimer's or dementia, but I worry that there might be a relationship years from now. I am 55 years old & in good health generally, except for being overweight & taking BP meds.


My episode came on after I worked outside in 90 degree heat for an hour or so, came inside & cooled off, took a nap (1 to 1-1/2 hrs.), then got up & took a shower. My wife said when I got out of the shower I had the "deer in the headlights" look & asked nonsensical questions. She says I answered questions about name,home address & phone # ?s correctly, but did not remember some other recent events.


We went to the ER, where I came out of it after initially talking to the doctor. My wife says there was a family squabble in the ER waiting room, but I only remeber it as happening a while ago, not that evening. I remember sitting close to a person I thought I knew & thinking I would ask them, but I don't remember actually asking them, but she says I did.


I wonder about certain things that have happened to me before, much like the person who states he/she was driving one place & ended up in another. I often will start out going to one place like a store, & find myself on the road close to my work. I also have had allergic reactions to unknown triggers. These occurrences make me realize the brain is an organ we have much to learn about. Please post this to the forum ... Paul, 8 August 2006



Monday of this week Aug 21 I had a very strange episode in my life that was diagnosed by a neurologist as Transient Global Amnesia. I was working at my job and was alone. My wife called me about lunch and she said I acted very strange and since I have a history of strokes she sent an ambulance to my location. When the ambulance arrived I sent them away because I said there was nobody there who needed help. When my wife arrived she got the ambulance there and me to the hospital where I was diagnosed with TGA. It was one of the strangest days of my life of which I have no memory ... John Parton, 23 August 2006



I had an episode of trans global amnesia in March and still do research because it was so frightening. I am 61 and in fairly decent shape. It happened after exercise and sex. I told my husband I was having a TIA. I don't remember a shower I took or the trip to the hospital. I remember the CAT scan after it was almost finished. No damage was found and i have been fine but very cautious which is quite a shame since I don't like to have to feel so uneasy ... Reader on the web, 16 October 2006



My mother had her fourth attack yesterday and as your article states, whilst she is fine and can function during it, it is very scary for family and friends around her at the time. Our Doctors have never been able to shed much light on what happens or what causes them so thank you for your informative web pages - they've certainly helped me understand the situation a bit better. With Mum we have discovered it can be something as minor as a hic-cup that can trigger it. Only on one attack had she been doing exercise - the others she has either had a coughing fit or hic-cupped. Will we ever truly understand Mother Nature? My only concern is with my Dad having Type 2 diabetes and at higher risk of hypos now he is older, that the two never occur at the same time ... Jo, 20 October 2006



Since Jan of 2001 I have had 4 attacks of TGA. The first one lasted 8-9 hours and my husband and son took me to the ER. I had a CT scan, an MRI, MRA, and saw a neurologist. The last one happened a week ago. I have no memory of anything during the attacks. I had been a sufferer of migraines and they feel that is what may be triggering them. I was also recently divorced and had been under extreme stress since the summer of 2000. There seems to be a 1 1/2 year space between each one. Only one of them happened while I was driving. I always ask the same questions during each of them. What year is it, what day is it and what month is it. Also, anything that took place about 4-5 months prior to it is not remembered during the attacks. An example: I only remembered my daughter had one child when she had a second one 4 1/2 months ago. I do function during these spells but question anything out of place. I also used to try to remember what took place during the attacks but now I just let it go. A Dr. told me not to dwell on something that is not there and never will be as nothing was retained during that time so I won't have any memory of it.


It is very scarey afterwards and I find myself constantly questioning myself about events testing my memory. After a period of time that part gradually stops ... Jen, 6 November 2006



On September 20, 2006 while visiting my husband's family in New Jersey I had what I have now been told was an episode of Transient Global Amnesia. I had never heard of it before. We had spent the day before visiting Ground Zero in New York, which was very emotionally stressful for me. We also took a boat tour of New York Harbor and I had my first chance to see the Statue of Liberty, I'm from California and this was my first visit to New York. The next morning, after taking my weekly Fosamax medication (I am 62 years old and have had osteopenia for a number of years)my husband tells me that I began to behave strangely, telling him that there was something wrong. I was disoriented and couldn't seem to stay awake, unusual behavior for me. My brother-in-law preparred breakfast for us but evidently I wasn't very adept at feeding myself, also unusual behavior for me. My husband determined that he thought I was having a stroke and took me to the hospital. They did a CAT scan and determined that I did not have a brain hemorrage and were preparring to give me medication to combat the effects of a stroke but evidently I was beginning to show signs of improvement so they waited. I finally came back to my senses aroud 5:00 P.M. I don't remember anything that happened between the time I finished my glass of water in the morning at about 9:30 A.M. until they were taking me to a hospital room at about 5:00 P.M. I have had a CAT Scan, a sonogram of my arteries, a sonogram of my heart function, an MRI, and two EEG's (one while sleep deprived). No abnormalities have been detected. I spent three days in the hospital in New Jersey and came back to follow up with a Neurologist here in California. The Neurologist in California is the one who suggested that what happened to me was TGA. I was told to just look it up on the Internet and that it wouldn't happen again. Well, from all of the things I've read here on this websight, it appears very possible it could happen again. I remember absolutely nothing about what happened during the episode and yet my husband tells me that I was very able to communicate with the emergency room personnel in New Jersey and was even able to explain to them exactly what medications and vitamin supplements I was taking and what they were for. It's a very frightening experience, I'm hoping someone can help us understand this phenomenon ... Ann Craft, 15 November 2006



Is there anywhere that I can find more info on TGA? ... Hywel, 9 January 2007



My mother had an episode of global transient amnesia, recovered quickly, but does not remember anything that occurred during the episode, which we were told is a hallmark of the disorder.


Does your father remember now what transpired during the event? ... Betsey Thompson, 10 February 2007



I have had an episode of TGA which lasted about 9 hours. I can only remember brief snippets of what happened. For a few days afterward I still had some memory problems, was more agitated, headache, neckache, and very fatigued. 6 weeks later my memory is fine,feeling better, but still some headaches, neck aches, and somewhat easily fatigued. Nothing shows up on the MRI of the brain, CT scan, Venogram, blood tests for encephalitis and I just had an MRA of the neck and do not know the results. I was not under stress, might have been some sexual activity (cannot remember), but I am concerned about the continued symptoms and continue seeing a good neurologist. I am 64 years old, had some abdominal surgery 30 plus years ago ... DM, 4 March 2007



I have had two episodes, five years apart. Both followed very stressfull situations, one loosing my dog of 15yrs and loosing my youngest brother suddenly. I did not necessarily feel stressed at the time but had taken a warm shower both time just before on-set. I remember most of the first episode but have no memory of the 6-8 hrs of the second episode. My family recognized the symptoms from the first episode and just made me lay down and go to sleep. Had I stayed awake I may have eventually remembered everything. Both of these two events were noted because I called a family member during the on-set. I do wonder if there have been other times when I did not think to call someone. I am very scared about taking showers. Being that I like to take a shower daily, this could really be a problem!! If I drink a cold glass of water prior and after a warm shower will that make it safer? The last episode just happened the other night. I wish I knew more ... Paula Ross, 20 March 2007



Recently I witnessed my wife's behaviour during a Transient Global Amnesia or TGA episode. This is a well documented condition as per:


Miranda Whites artical


The behaviour of the patient could be best described as severe instant Alzheimer's. There is no memory of something that has happened 5 seconds ago. The patient repeats the same questions over and over again of events that have just been explained to them, such as where am I, what happened ect.


Witnessing an episode it appears that the part of the brain affected is the same part of the brain that gets affected in Alzheimer's.


With TGA the onset is commonly bought on by stress, vigorous exercise or sex. The common thread is energetic activity by the patient. It appears the brain is temporarily deprived of blood supply that rectifies itself in a short while, usually 3 to 4 hours.


By the time the patient has been taken to a hospital the cause of the problem is not evident in tests performed. If there is a depravation of blood to a part of the brain it seems to me that there are three ways it can occur.


1. Rupture of vein.
2. Blockage of vein.
3. Collapse of vein.


Obviously the first two could be observed, but the third can be self rectifying with no tell tale after affects. Once the patient relaxes the vein will dilate and perform as usual. This makes seeking the cause extremely difficult as there is no defect in the brain for the doctor to find.


What I am trying to describe is a tube, ìveinî collapsing by way of a vacuum being drawn on it, this is the same as a coolant pipe in a car collapsing when the supportive spring is removed from inside the pipe. Rev the engine and the pipe will collapse, let the engine idle and the pipe opens up again. Sorry for this analogy but it's the best way I can describe it.


The purpose of this letter is not so much as to find a cure for TGA, but may, if I am correct, be solution to the Alzheimer's condition. If the part of the brain affected by TGA is the same as Alzheimerís the cause of Alzheimer's may be a gradual closing off over several years of the same vein affecting TGA.


I don't know how much attention is paid to TGA by way of research as it is not a life threatening condition, but if this condition explains Alzheimer's the consequences are huge.


I don't mean to be a provocative layman but if I did not write this letter and I am correct, I would never forgive myself ... Jim Heath, 29 March 2007



Three days ago I was sitting at work and messenged a friend that I didn't feel right and something was wrong. He got me help and they took me to the ER. I've been told I was terrified and it was like I did a hard-reset every minute. I asked the same questions over and over. My son wrote down the answers and then when I asked, they pointed at the paper. I'd read it, look up and ask again. It lasted about 8 hours. It's left me with a headache and feeling a bit shaky. My neurologist said I'm fine and it should never happen again. But when you lose a chunk of your life that you will never remember, it's really disconcerting ... Jackie McKnite, 30 March 2007



I am so grateful I stumbled upon this website! A month ago I came home from work, changed my clothes and went to the barn to tell my husband I was having trouble remembering the events of the day. He took me to the ER. I don't remember the 6 hours that transpired after that, but finally I "woke up" and asked my husband "what happened?" His hesitation made me think that it was bad news, but it was only that I had asked him that same question every few minutes for the last 6 hours! (After explaining to him that I just woke up from a dream). I remembered who I was, who he was, where I worked, and what I was scheduled to do that day. But I did not remember that my brother was getting married in 2 months, that we were going to the wedding or that I had bought the airline tickets. Gradually I was able to put together what happened earlier in the day but have never recalled the 6 hours after the onset. This wasn't really terrifying for me because it was like it happened to someone else. Although he was concerned, after 6 hours my 9 year old started to have fun with it. He entertained himself at the hospital by telling me that I had a CAT scan so he could see my astonished reaction and watch me bust out laughing every 2 minutes because of remembering our favoirite movie scene of Tim Allen riding off in a sleigh in "The Santa Claus", his voice trailing off saying that when he gets home, he's getting a CAT scan! Prior to the episode, I had a 45 minute drive home from a new job that is very stressful. I also suffer from migraines every 1 or two months. That month I had three and they were more severe than usual. My episode was misdiagnosed as toxic exposure for lack of any other explanation, after reporting that I had mushroom soup for lunch. I have been wondering what really happened. All the tests only verified that my thyroid is low. In my research to find answer, I am seeing a pattern or some relationship between low thyroid and migraines and, now, migraines and TGA ... Sharron May, 14 April 2007



It has been theorised that I perhaps had a silent stroke and consequently...eletrical activities, that sets off these event they call TGAs. Since December 2003....I have experienced at least ten events...What number can one expect that falls into the unique category. I have given up driving and except for the loss of some long past memories, balance problems from time to time..I have been pronounced " in good shape for a person my age "..Female 86, Is there any proof that epilepsy is not the problem? my neurologist has me on Lamictal! ... Margaret K, 24 June 2007



I just had my second episode of TGA (am I glad to finally find a name for my experience). Both episodes were preceded by having sexual intercourse when I was in an emotionally stressful state of mind. In both episodes, I came back to our bedroom after taking a bath and dressing up, sat at my side of the bed and told my husband, "I feel something's wrong with me." Thereafter, I kept repeating a series of questions mostly associated to the cause of my stress (first episode: our son's departure for a protracted assignment in a foreign land and second episode: my daughter's gall bladder removal operation). In both episodes my first question was "What date is it?". With the second episode I fully recovered my memory after three hours unlike with my first episode where my recovery took more than twelve hours. My observation is that when an episode occurs, one must lie down and rest, drink lots of water, and have someone around who can patiently answer one's repetitive questions as well as ask questions and recall incidents related to the traumatic/stressful occurence so that the patient can slowly bring back his memory. For me, prayers and the kindness of my husband helped me get through the second episode ... Maria 25 June 2007



I have suffered Total Global Amnesia in transient duration. I am 78 and the recent one was about a month back. I was unaware of the onset and drove out doing my job and came back. I do not remember the drive, but do remember now all events prior and after the drive.


My test to know whether I am likely to suffer TGA is, I do quick calculations like, 9+17=25 etc etc, plus do "navigation" on the computer. Operate the computer and log on to various sites one after the other. If I am fast enough, then all is ok or else, I better be careful and no driving etc. ... Nisar ul Haq, 1 July 2007



I am a 39 year old female and have been suffering these attacks since approximately 1995. The first time it happened, I had just taken a shower, which was not cold, nor too hot, and I was "out of it" for that day and some of the next. The funny thing was that it wasn't explainable and I couldn't describe the way it felt and both of my parents determined I was on some kind of drugs (not true). It was never an issue again until I had my daughter in 2000, then I had another "episode" 3 days after I had her, again after taking a shower. They continued on and off throughout the year, and my dr did an xray of my throat and saw that my vein was white (calcified). Nothing was ever done about it, I complained again, then he sent me to an ear nose throat dr who went down my throat with a camera and said everything was fine...(quack) so here it is 2007 I'm still suffering (so far seven this year alone) from the "episodes" but with a new dr that actually listens to what I'm saying. He sent me to have test after test that all came back normal until the cartoid doppler test showed a "flap" in my jugular vein. Which led us to TGA...I was relieved because it finally had a name, but at the same time scared to death because it's rare, and I have 2 daughters to consider. In conclusion, the "episodes" either happen to me because I take a shower, or I wake up like that already. Its really good to see that there are other people like me...I thought I was crazy, and I think my other doctor did too. To all of you other sufferers out there, may God bless you and I hope you too find some kind of solution because its very scary to go thru let alone have your family watch you go thru it ... Suzanne Reyes, 10 September 2007



I woke up one morning and had a terrible headache. Thinking it was nothing I went to the bathroom and took a bath in hopes of relaxing it down, instead it increased the severity of the headache. I got out and dressed whliest my parents (I was 16 at the time) asked me if everything was ok because I got out of the bath extremely quickly. In the middle of my speech with them it seemed like they stopped talking English and instead made wierd words and phrases up. I tried to talk to them, but to my memory they wouldn't understand. I woke up in the ER some six hours later. My folks told me that I had thrown up twice and they had to get drag me to the ER. They said I tried talking but murmers and randomn words came out of my mouth. I didn't remember any of this, and after several tests run by doctors, I was diagnosed with Global Amnesia ... Craig, 21 Octoer 2007



I don't know if what I'm experiencing is TGA or not, but it's the closest symptomology that I've found. I think that my amnesic episodes are of just a few minutes duration. At least the one today was short--lasting approximately five minutes as I drove. There were no precursor indications and no problems recovering from the incident. As others have said, I apparently can function fine during the episode and then have no memory of what transpired. I have apparently had these episodes over about two years. As far as I know, I have never been around anyone else when they happened and they are not related to having sex or the other activities that have been mentioned. I only began to suspect that I was having "blackouts" when things began missing or moving around my house and yard. I have not yet seen a doctor about these events, so this is my own diagnosis. I hope these episodes cease, because it's getting expensive replacing missing ipods! ... Bill Watson, 21 October 2007


doc's picture


Perfumes can cause definite reactions. FYI, among some physicians, White Diamonds has a reputation for a lot of complaints, for triggering asthma and nasal symptoms.
An alternative explanation for a strong smell before the event could be a seizure aura consisting of an olfactory (smell) hallucination, if seizure were the cause of TGA. I don't think most TGA has been attributed to seizure episodes, however. Migraine can involve severe metabolic disturbance in the group of cells affected. This will only very rarely be associated with a small completed stroke, therefore the CT and MRI will usually be normal.
I suspect PET scanning would be very abnormal during an attack, but have not researched this to date. PET scans are very expensive and difficult to schedule. They would only be done in a research setting for this, I think. Perhaps any researcher reading this blog could take interest or post information about any study in progress. Note I am not a neurologist, just an MD who has experienced TGA.

sarah's picture

hello i have problem my

hello i have problem my husband always had headache now he always forget what his doing ,among within 5 minute, i feel bad because he always angry to me, cause not hear what his wants me to do, but his not ordered it, i always explain to him but his cannot excepted.

Stew's picture


I see most of these post are labled as TGA. I have had 3 episodes each 3 or more years apart from each other. The first happened after sex and being in a hot tub. My wife came into the bedroom and I asked her a question that she knew I should have known the answer to. She first thought I was joking around, but soon found that I had in fact lost any memory of the entire day up to that point, along with some other recent events that had taken place. Off to the emergency we went where I had all of the same test mentioned in the above posts. I was diagnosed as having a TIA, and told that it might possibly happen again, but that it also may never happen again. I had completely regained my memory within 3 to 4 hours. Well about 3 years later, I had another episode right after getting out of the shower. This time it was not as bad, but more of a horrible state of confusion. I knew what was happening, and remembered that I had some special events going on that day, and did not want to ruin it all of everyone else, but I was having a lot of trouble connecting the dots of what was happening. I was able to muttle through the day on into the evening without letting my wife in on the fact that I was aware I was having a second episode. Once the birthday party that I had been largely in charge of orchestrating had been successfully pulled off without letting anyone know that I was in a haze the entire time, I finally confessed to my wife what had happened. Of course by that time 8 hours had passed and I was back to normal. My last occurence just happened a couple of days ago about 3 years after the second. This time was almost like the second. It happened just after a shower, and was more of a confusion than anything. I recognized it again myself, but this time told my wife what was happening. Within a few minutes my son stopped by with 3 of my grandchildren. I could only remember 2 out of the the three of their names. This episode lasted only a couple of hours after which I returned to normal. The last two episodes, I have refused to go to the doctors, as I know i would just be in for the loss of an entire day only to be told that it was a TIA, and and even that with little certainty. It is comforting to know that I am not alone. Thanks for this site.

Anonymous's picture


Wondering if it was TGA.I am a 69 year old male in excellent health all my life until Gall Bladder surgery 1 year ago.

Friday evening my Folk-Classic Rock Band was scheduled to play a routine gig at a local Coffee House. I arrived with my lead female singer who is about 14 years younger @ 7:30 PM.I recall setting up, playing and singing a Bob Dylan song, than the next thing I knew she was checking me in @ a local hospital @ 11:30 PM for "Temporary memory Loss". Was totally fine afterwards excepting not recalling anything or anyone for the 4 hour time period.Had no other symptoms that have been listed in this column.

They said afterwards that I sit, played & sang every song almost perfectly w/o ANY cause for any questionable behavior. 3 MRI's, 2 Ultra Sounds, revealed nothing.

3 days prior I had been on the bike trail riding 15 miles each way, when the weather finally became warmer. Was it over exertion since it was the first time in months?

I remember NOTHING during that period! My question, how the hell can you perform normally playing 3 instruments, sing recalling all the words and not even know what you're doing?

Anxiety, maybe some business items, non earth shaking happily being divorced for 4 years from a very negative ex wife, however missing companionship very much. No sex for 4 years (Maybe that's it!, gotta be careful ya know!)

Doctors are befuddled. Any comments are welcomed.

Chris's picture

While swimming

Had started a PADI scuba diving course on holiday with my wife at the Red Sea in Egypt. Had to do the 200m swim test in the sea then floating for 10 minutes. During the swim I went drastically off course and obviously started to 'lose it' then later swam right into my wife (the last incident I can recall). After that can't remember the floating, getting out, being looked after etc, getting into a vehicle, and next recall is looking at the ceiling in the diving hospital about 2 hours later. My blood pressure had shot up probably with the stress of the situation (I do normally take some BP treatment). Fearing a stroke I was sent for an MRI scan - all clear. I had the classic TGA symptoms at the time - could remember name, relationship with wife etc but didn't know where I was, the country I was in, and couldn't undertand how I got to have wet shorts from the swim. Was continually repeating questions about all this. Swimming in cold water and some stress (I was slightly worried about ear pressure in the upcoming dive) are apparently known triggers particularly in men - I am 57 years old. Also the manouvers done by divers to clear ear pressure are thought to be a possible trigger as they can affect blood flow in the neck - I think I had been practising these. Now back in the UK I'm waiting to see a specialist and may have more scans.

doc's picture

TGA and temporal/mesial frontal lobe seizure in 55 yo w/migraine

I reviewed the many remarks regarding migraine, auras, and stressful events leading to transient global amnesia or TGA. I am a 55 year old male physician with occasional migraines who has recently acquired this diagnosis for myself. One or more episodes might have occurred even 20 years ago. I think those with migraine are having ischemia or spasm of the arteries in the areas involved with memory formation, perhaps in the mesial (medial) temporal lobe of the left hemisphere. We call events with lasting deficits complicated migraine and the deficits usually, mostly, resolve. Severe episodes could cause neuronal cell death or stroke/TIA, rarely large enough to see on a CT scan.
Those with recurrent migraine should seek preventive treatments for the migraine disorder (which may at times occur in the absence of headache). Avoidance of stress, avoiding excess caffeine intake/withdrawal, and treatment of allergy may help some migraine sufferers.
Another possible cause of TGA is temporal lobe seizure, which I think has been a cause of syncope-like episodes where I myself have nearly lost consciousness in the past and recently I had an episode of classic 90% 3 day loss of memory to TGA. Seizure, if prolonged, may damage or disrupt neurons. (Some diseases or dementias affect the frontal lobes preferentially and could result in enough damaged cells to cause seizure foci there.) Those who do not have migraine headache features should describe any recurrent prodromal or anticipatory feelings that lead to an episode, as they may give the treating physician clues as to the possible epileptic cause of the symptom and lead to treatment with a drug for temporal lobe seizures, if the TGA episodes are recurrent.
The brain area which involves storage of recently developed memories can be affected to varying degrees by multiple possible events which in TGA have a common symptom pattern from diverse causes in different individuals. This type of temporal or frontal seizure, if present, can be difficult to diagnose for the neurologist to suspect or diagnose, and can be missed by EEG surface electrodes, I should think.

Anonymous's picture


I had a weird thing happen to me two nights ago. I am a 38 year old female, in good health. I have been working a lot and have been pretty stressed out. I went to bed at about 1:30 a.m. and could not go to sleep. I was going over so much stuff in my head. I have no idea what time it was, but I suddenly felt like I had to go to the bathroom (urinate). Normally, this doesn't just all of a sudden happen and I wanted to continue to lay in bed, but it was obvious I really had to go. I got up and went and thought it was strange that I had to go so much, because I didn't remember ever feeling like I sort of had to go first (I know this sounds weird). After that I turned off the light and walked out of the bathroom, shutting the door behind me. It was then that I could not remember where I was and/or how to get back to my bedroom (that was literally right around the corner from where I was standing). I stood there in the dark with this strange feeling. I knew I had just shut the door to the bathroom and I knew where I was (in my apartment), but I couldn't remember the apartment at all and other places I have lived went through my mind for a minute. I told myself to just open up the door and turn on the light, so I could see. Instead, this episode just upset me (my day was a bad, stressful day and this was the icing on the cake to me). So, I got "mad" and told myself I was not going to open the door and turn on the light and I told myself that I knew where I was (dammit) and how to get back to my room so just started walking! I put my hand out and felt the wall next to me. That sort of scared me, because I couldn't remember it being there. I forced myself to walk forward with my hand on the wall. Once my hand hit the open air (doorway to my room), I walked into my bedroom and I remembered where I was. I have no idea when my confusion started. The real confusing part seemed to only last a few minutes. I don't know if it is TGA, but it seems to be the closest thing to it.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Kind of like my experience!

I just read your experience, and it reminded me so much of what happened to me back in 2006. I was driving home from a Target store about 2 miles from my home -- a drive I have done hundreds of times probably! I was pretty much on automatic, driving down the road listening to a cd in the player when all of sudden I started feeling really agitated and bothered. The music seemed to get really loud and (this is what reminded me of your story) so I told myself to turn off the cd because it was annoying me and very distracting, but I almost got angry with myself thinking, no, I love this music! I'm not going to turn it off! The last consecutive memory I have was feeling really confused and irritated, and then the next thing I remember was coming to a stop sign where I was supposed to turn left. I noticed the median strip which used to be covered in grass was now cement. I was totally surprised and wondered when they had changed it. As I made the left hand turn, instead of being on the road I should have been on, I was driving down a road I've never seen in my life! I didn't recognize anything. I just kept saying out loud, "where the hell AM I? I finally got my senses back in control, and figured if I made a u-turn I could go back and see where I was, which I did. I came up to a stop light and recognized the name of the road but couldn't figure out where on the road I was or what direction I was going. I made a left when the light turned green and finally came to another familiar road, and drove home in shock. I think I set in front of my house for 15 minutes in a catatonic state wondering what had just happened. To this day I still don't know. The next day I did go back to see if I could retrace my steps from the two roads that I had recognized, and taking into consideration the fact I made the left turn at the median strip (first memory I had after being irritated by the music) I think I found the road I was on, although some of the details from my memory where a bit foggy and warped. I have no idea of how I got there. It was in the opposite direction from where I was supposed to be going. It wasn't until a couple days later I realized I couldn’t remember that section of my trip. It's like there is a gap in my memory. If it had been a stroke or amnesia, I can't figure out how I could have safely driven to the area I ended up at. I really thought I had been abducted by aliens! I’m serious. It didn’t make any sense. That’s how I found out about TGA…just doing research online. It’s never happened since, but I have to say it was the weirdest thing I have ever experienced.

Anonymous's picture

Transient Global Amnesia

I am 69 years old and have had TGA 3 times in the past 6 years.

The first time I was at a gathering in a restaurant that was being held after a funeral of a friend. I was already stressed and then a person came up and told me something that was very upsetting to me. I started to cry, uncontrollably, and my head hurt unbearably. The top of my head felt like it could blow off. I would have rather been in labor pains. Then I could not remember why we were there, what was the occasion, and kept asking the same questions over and over, according to my family. They said that once I was at the point that I could not make new memory, I did not complain of the headache. Since they suspected a stroke, I was taken by ambulance to the hospital. Because I was extremely upset over my own confusion, I was given a shot to put me to sleep. I awoke the next morning in the hospital thinking that the month was Dec when it was actually March. I went home that day but felt washed out and did not feel like myself for several days.

The second time I was concerned about a 2 week class that I had to attend in a couple of days. I woke up with a slight headache. My husband and I had sex and I could feel the headache getting worse. After I took a shower I was standing in the bathroom when I had the same type of headache as the first time. I started wandering around the house, asking my husband questions over and over and I would tell the emergency personnel that I had Transient Global Amnesia over and over again. I was in the hospital overnight and came out of it in about 24 hours again. I also had the same tiredness and depressed feeling for several days after.

The third time my husband had just been put in an ambulance with the emt's thinking he was having a stroke. Friends came to pick me up to follow him to the hospital and I just barely got into their car and was talking on the phone to my son when I told them I was losing it and handed the phone to my friend. So I ended up being wheeled into the emergency room in a wheelchair with my husband seeing me wheel by and I was telling everybody I had TGA over and over again. Another overnight hospital stay. All the tests were done to make sure everything was normal each time.

I don't mean to make light of this problem, but they tell me I'm very funny and more entertaining than the drunks they get in the ER. The first time our son brought me a very nice can of marbles, just like the ones we used to get when we were kids. I still have it in case I ever lose my marbles again. Which I obviously have.

All three episodes were related to stress. I also have no memory of about a 24 hour time period each time other than small snatches of a scene. Each time I have not been able to make new memory. Twice I had a severe headache. The third time I did not.

I get migraines from fragrances and wondered if that might have contributed to the first episode where there was a lot of perfume. But there was none at the time of the second two episodes.

My doctor has put me on a low dose of lexapro to help with anxiety. Of course, we will not know if it is working, only if it is not working.

I'm fortunate in that I have always been with family and friends when I've "lost it". I'm thinking this might be a curse of highly intelligient people. :)

Dinah's picture


My 69 year old otherwise healthy father had a TGA yesterday that lasted 4 hours. I suspected stroke because he complained of pressure in the right hemisphere of his brain, but the doctors called it temporary amnesia and sent us home without further explanation. I am grateful for finding this site and would like to share that my father suspected the coffee he had had previously was partially responsible. He also had high glucose levels and presence of ketones in his urine. 2 days prior he was more irritable than usual.

Mary Ann Collard's picture

Trancient Global Amnesia

My father had an episode like this many years ago. He died in 1992.I don't remember how old he was at the time,it was after he was retired. He woke up one morning when he and my mother had planned to go on vacation. He knew who he was and other info but somehow my mom and brother thought he had had a stroke, so they took him to emergency . I don't know what tests they did but he knew where he was and who he was so they released him. That night about 9pm before going to bed he suddenly said were we not we supposed to go on vacation today? Afterward he remembered nothing that had happened that day. I always thought that he had had some kind of TIA( trans ischemial attack). Nice to have a diagnosis.

Yatri's picture


My dad recently had a similar experience when my mom was out of town. He is 60+ and extremely health conscious to the level that he has all his medical reports filed and he never eats something mom hasn't cooked for him.

My husband and I were at home when it happened. My dad couldnt remember that my mom was away. He had a very dazed look and said that he had a horrible dream and can't remember where he was. Next, he asked where mom was and why she was away. The questions repeated over and over again, as though he wasn't able to hear or record the answer. I was afraid whether it was a stroke and immediately called our family doctor and consequently mom asking her to return asap.

Our family doctor arrived and suggested that we take him immediately to the hospital. My dad got ready normally. There was nothing different in him expect for the fact that he could not remember any events in the past or present.

Once in the hospital (about 1 hour after the first symptom) he was started to recall everything. The only thing he was having through out the incident was a headache. He also mentioned that when he woke, he went to the bathroom and at that point had a horrible headache as though someone hit him. He cant remember anything after that until he started remembering things in the hospital. That period of about 45mins are a blank still.

We got a CT scan done the very next day and the results came out clear. The only possible cause being related to stress/separation from mom. The doc neverthless put him on Baby Aspirin as a lifelong medication.

I was still looking for more info and came across this site. Thanks a lot for the info.

DigItMan's picture


On June 5, 2009, I woke up to find my husband lying in bed with a peculiar look on his face. When I asked him what was wrong, he said he was having trouble remembering names. For the next eight hours, he could not recall the names of family members nor the date. After repeating the names and dates over and over to him, he would immediately forget. He felt lightheaded and experienced extreme fatigue. After lying down to sleep for a few hours, his memory seemed to return.

He went to a neurologist two weeks later, who diagnosed the problem as TGA but gave no specific cause. We tried to link certain events that could have caused this: 1) My husband said upon waking on June 5th, he turned his head on his pillow and felt four vertebrae make a popping sound, which we reasoned could have cut off blood to his brain; 2) my husband has a history of migraine headaches; 3) he, also, takes blood pressure medicine and this was a possible side effect; 4) and possible mercury exposure from eating too much tuna in a short period of time. The neurologist, of course, looked at us like we had both short-circuited, but hey, something had to cause this.

Butch's picture

On Monday June 8,2009, I had

On Monday June 8,2009, I had a soccer meeting to attend and do a seminar on a socceer program for the state of which I live. I remember doing the short seminar but I do not remember leaving the meeting or driving home. When I got home I told my wife that I felt funny and she thought that I might be having a slight stroke so she took me to the hospital. On the way to the hospital I kept telling her that I knew that she was my wife and that the man in the back seat was my son. He was my step-son. I could not remember the names of my grand children or my great granddaughter. I did not know where I was and kept on asking "what am I doing here and where am I?" I remember my wife leaving around 2:00 am and I must have then fallen asleep. The following morning when I woke up I remembered everything in my life except the 6 hours of the night before. I am 67 years old and never experienced anything like this before. I feel fine now and my Dr. told me that it may never happen again.

Anonymous - Ontario Canada's picture


On Christmas morning 2007 I had my first episode.
I had got up early, sat and had a coffee.
Decided to have a shower, got dressed and started asking strange questions
Don't remember much for the next 4 hours other than what my wife told me.
She asked me my name, date, where I was - I could not answer any of the questions
By late afternoon it was as if nothing had happened.
I went to my family doctor who said that it looked like low blood sugar.
He put me on an exercise program to lose weight and keep my blood sugar normal
I lost about 30 pounds and have kept it off for most of the time
I lived a normal life till June 2 at about 3:30pm, again after a shower, I experienced the same thing.
This time for about 6 hrs.
Friends came in, as did my grand kids. I did not know them
June 3, on the advice of my doctor I went to the hospital ER.
They did an ekg, blood test, blood pressure, xrays and cat scan
All turned out good - nothing out of the ordinary.
I have an appointment with a neurologist in July.
Meanwhile I have had people say they have heard of tga and know of people who have experienced it.
Most have been after getting some water in the ears.

Anonymous's picture


I am just coming out of my second TGA episode. The first was about 6 years ago. I found myself standing in a store, not knowing where I was. I called home and my husband gently reminded me I had gone to the store. I looked down and saw I had hot dogs and buns in my cart. I asked him, "Are we having a barbque?" The more I talked with him, the more the "fog" lifted. This episode was very short. Though a little shook up, I was able to finish my shopping and drove home. I did have an EEG and Cat Scan. All was clear. I had never heard of TGA prior to this first episode. It took me a while to come around.

My second episode was last week. Due to a great deal of stress in my life, I knew my anxiety was getting out of hand. I take Prozac for anxiety. I made an appointment to talk with a psychiatrist. The last thing I remember is parking my car. I don't remember walking into the dr's office, any of our conversations, a trip to the hospital in an ambulance, blood work, urinalysis, or a catscan!! My husband indicates I did all the usual things: Kept asking the same questions over and over and over. After about four hours I was allowed to go home. They even said is was ok for me to drive. We went to get my car and I did drive home safely. Even though it has been five days, I am still quite "rattled" and have not retrieved any of the missing memories. Although I am so thankful that all my tests came back fine, I now am worried it will happen again some time. It was a very frightening experience.

Just for info, I am female, 60, migraine sufferer; no high blood pressure or cholesteral. No diabetes.

I will be going to stress reduction classes and behavior modification classes. In this day and age it is very, very easy to get overly stressed.

Good look to all of you. It will get better!

Anonymous's picture


I had my first TGA attack on21st April 2009, My husband came home and I asked him where have you been? when I knew very well He called an ambulance immediately, and I seem to have lost about 2hours.
I had all tests in hospital including MRI scan and told I was fine
After reading this blog I am very worried as I was told that it was unlikely
that I would suffer another attack.
What is interesting just before the attack I had had a shower and washed my hair, I was sitting in my bathrobe in the lounge when my husband came home, but I cannot remember anything until I was at the hospital, although I had answered correctly to several questions posed by the ambulanceman.
I also keep questioning my memory. It is scary as my mother had terrible dementia.

Anonymous's picture

Recurring TGA

I am so thankful to have found this site. After reading this paper, I looked up TGA on the Mayo Clinic website and found a terrific section on it and printed out the info to give to my 81 year old father-in-law to read. He has had many "episodes" thoughout this past year, with the first one occuring while my invalid mother-in-law was still living. He was definitely experiencing emotional stress and fatigue at the time. My mother-in-law passed away in August 2008, but he still experiences what I now believe to be TGA (thanks to this paper) one or two times a month. He had all of the appropriate neurological testing done, and nothing ever showed up. He has recently been seen by another neurologist. No diagnosis. I would like to know why TGA has never been mentioned to my father-in-law as a likely, or even possible cause of his "episodes." Even if there is nothing he can do about it, it feels much better just to have a possible diagnosis.

Anonymus's picture

TGA Correlations

My husband had a second occurrence of TGA recently and I am curious to know whether anyone who's experienced TGA also had coffee prior to the episode. I noticed that one person who described her TGA episode had drank coffee prior to the attack and I wonder if there is any correlation. Prior to both of my husband's attacks, he had coffee, followed by exercise. Has anyone with TGA experienced lifelong difficulties with navigational ability, such as remembering how to travel from one place to another? Also any lifelong difficulty with goal-setting, concentration or procrastination. I've read that TGA involves the hippocampus which controls spacial memory and navigational ability.

Serendip Visitor's picture

TGA Correlations

I had my first tga on 4/9/11 after showering and having cup of coffee. Sat down in chair to work on crossword puzzle and watch Masters and then was out for next 5 hours. I am 58 and have had mild migraines for years. No strenuous exercize prior. I have had a migraine since the day after and still a bit fuzzy headed. Spent the 5 hours asking, "Is it Saturday?" "Is it Saturday". Pretty funny, but pretty scary!

Frans Hagethorn's picture

Yes, I had coffee, then a

Yes, I had coffee, then a shower.
And yes, my navigational ability is very poor.

sylvia's picture


thanks for the infor today by 71 yr. spouse had an episode which seems clear now. He was seen by a neuro and scheduled for eeg he lost memory from 6;30 a.m. to around 7 p he got snippets back but thats all don't know what started it because I wasn't home. He went to work and the people at work noticed. They took him to the hospital and now we are waiting more tests. I am terrified to leave him alone and go back to work but I just have to hope that the autopiolt will kick in for him if it reoccurs

Anonymous's picture

transient global amnesia

On January 31, 2009 I had transient global amnesia. My husband was driving and I only remember leaving the house and going about a mile and a half down the road, then nothing. I was told I went to my exercise class and did a very good workout, which I don't even remember getting to the building or the exercising. All I remember was ending up in the emergency room and not knowing anything for about 6 hours. I was agitated and confused. I tried to remember, but couldn't. I had migrane headaches for a couple of days in the hospital and now seem to be ok. I have a great fear this will happen again and I will not be able to prevent this problem from coming back, although I am told it is probably a once in a lifetime happening. I was agitated with the doctors and nurses and that is not my normal self. I just wanted to be left alone to figure things out for myself and get rid of the migrane headaches. I went through an MRI and almost five days later my ears are still ringing from the noise of the machine. The doctor put my IV in the wrong hand and they couldn't get the dye in to get a contrast image. It hurt so bad and they wanted to reset the IV in the same arm and I couldn't take the burning in my arm. They went ahead and did the MRI without contrast. The doctor told me it was a TGA episode and I should be fine. I have been under a lot of stress with my job, my husband being in the hospital and having kidney stones removed twice, and other tests done, and I had a ruptured apprndix last June. Plus my mother died a little over a year ago and I had to settle her estate, which took over a year. All of this stress probably built up and it just happened, at least that is what I tell myself. I was told I may have to give up my job and I just can't do that now. I love my job and I want to keep working. I am 61 years old and I don't want to give up now. It is good to know that others have had the same thing happen to them and they are ok. I do not drink or smoke and I only take viamins and an aspirin once a day. My doctor wants to get me on some medications, but I don't do well with medications and I am alergic to a lot of things of which I have to carry a list. These allergic reactions were mostly found when I had the ruptured appendix, as I got very sick to some of the medicines. What a mess. I would like to hear from others who have had TGA recently.

Anonymous's picture

Transient Global Amnesia

My 10 year old daughter recently experienced an episode of amnesia like symptoms lasting approx 12 hours. Following a holiday weekend, she left for school on a Monday morning in a sleepy state. I received a call from her schol that she was disoriented and confused. I picked her up and took her to the ER for a bettery of tests, which were all normal. Whe knew her name and knew who I was, however she couldn't remember the name of her school, her grade, the ages of her siblings, etc. Although she acted as if she were "under a spell," she displayed no anxiety about her condition. After dinner, she began to return to normal but didn't remember anything about the day. Has anyone heard about case of TGA in children/adolescents? Where can I go for more information?

CTL's picture


Last Friday evening I had an appointment with my doctor as I had recently suffered a severe attack of gastro-enteritis, the cause of which remained a mystery although I had just returned from a cruise in the Mediterranean. I had been put on a course of anti-biotics which had not agreed with me and my doctor wanted to check up on me to see if I was OK. I drove to the doctor's office and kept my appointment. Whilst I was waiting for him, I met my niece and her husband by chance. When I returned home later, I had no memory of what the doctor had said to me nor what I said to him. I couldn't remember whether I had really seen my niece or whether it was a dream. My husband called my niece, who confirmed that she had seen me and chatted to me. I was extremely frightened by the episode and called the doctor. I saw him the following day and he told me I had had a TGA. I have now looked this up on Google and find that it is usually associated with being in cold water, sexual activity or extreme physical activity, none of which had happened in my case. However, I had been in hospital myself two weeks ago because of the gastro-enteritis and my husband was in hospital the following week having back surgery. I am wondering whether my TGA was caused by unusual stress. Can anyone advise me? Having read other people's reports of their TGA I am really afraid it will happen again and I will not be able to drive myself home so easily.

Phyllis 's picture

Had my first TGA experience

Had my first TGA experience on August 28, 2008. Am a 61 year old woman. I drink alcohol very little and never use illegal drugs (am even reluctant to use prescription drugs). I take synthroid for a hypo-thyroid condition. This year have converted to being a near vegetarian. Am very health-conscious, eating whole wheat bread, lots of vegetable and fruits, nuts, etc. I have balance problems from time to time, but they are minor. Am not diabetic, nor do I have migraines; however, I am hypoglycemic. I also used Ambien (no longer use it since doctors have told me to quit). I usually take only a half pill (5 mg), but was tired and took the whole pill (10 mg)the night before the incident. My last prior memory was of my driving to work. I felt a little tired, but OK otherwise. The next thing I remember was a dream-like vision of me driving my car. The highway seemed to be narrowing. I saw a police car, so I stopped to get help. I vaguely remember the police woman talking to me. My car windshield wiper was gone, and it seemed like a hook was there instead. She asked me whether I had hit a gate on the highway (turns out I had). I told her I didn't know, but was fascinated with the hook (wiper) on my windshield. She then asked me why I was smiling. I told her that I was glad to see her because she could help me. Then I lost memory of the next events. I was taken to the hospital by ambulance (I had no recollection of that until I got a request for insurance information in the mail.) The next thing I remember was being in a hospital bed in the emergency room. They asked me to sign something for a drug test (they thought I was on drugs). I signed, but I don't remember any tests, except a snippet of a CAT scan (I only remember looking up at it as I went in, nothing else). I remember calling my husband from the hospital bed (he said I really sounded strange). Unfortunately, even though my drug/tox test was clean, the Virginia police woman was irritated at me and she took me from the ER (even though the ER report told me to report immediately to my physician) to jail in handcuffs, where I spend from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm (my husband called a lawyer who got me out). To tell you the truth, although the medical incident was horrible, I didn't realize its terrible impact until several days later. The fact that I was brought to jail horrified me even more. Due to jail and the medical incident, I was totally drained for the next 5 days.

The next week I had a 24-hour EEG, an MRI/MRA, blood and urine tests, and a Electronystagmography test. They turned up nothing material. We had a trip to London scheduled, which my husband suggested we should cancel. However, I really wanted to go. It brightened up my entire outlook. After I returned, I received the TGA diagnosis. I also got a copy of the ER report, which said that I kept asking the same questions over and over again. Am not allowed to drive in Virginia for 6 months. I think that the most important thing to do is to forget about the incident and get on with your life. Hopefully, this won't happen again, but have canceled plans to move to Virginia.

Whoa's picture

Dang, your story is even

Dang, your story is even more like mine than the last, only my drug screen came up with Amphetimines which I take legally, but they are saying Methamphetamine showed up. I really don't know what that means or what the difference would be except one is more potent. I do know that I do not do illegal drugs. I do take Armor Thyroid hormone pills, which is what you should switch to because it works much better and it's natural, unlike Synthroid.

I hope Law Enforcement wouldn't taint a test just because the subject ended up having a medical issue and not criminal and could file a civil suit against them.

Rosie's picture


Wonderful to find this website and to be able to read the experiences of others. After trawling through all the medical-based websites, I was no wiser about if what I had actually experienced was typical, or if I should head straight to the Psychiatric ward!!!
Non of the info sites designed for the medical profession hint at the stark fear that is experienced during TGA, but it was comforting to read that many others had felt this. Also the sore neck, and tiredness that seems to come on a day or so later. Anyone else feel like they are on a ship, that vague sense of the movement of the swell of waves?

Janet's picture


I am 65 and while my husband and I were in a pet store looking at cat food, I saw an upper circle of sparks in my eyes flash for an instant. Then the room grew grey and I had an urgent need to use the restroom. I became confused in the restroom (don't remember using the toilet) and followed a lady that was going out because I did not know how to get out of the restroom. My husband was waiting for me. When he asked me if I was alright, I said I was looking for my purse. He showed it to me and I said that was not my purse. Then I told him I was looking for my husband. When he told me he was my husband, I asked to see his ID.

I do not remember him taking me to the ER or the CT scan. I "woke up" 6 hours later. My case sounds similar to those I just read except that it has been a year now since my TGA (thanks to you I have a name for it). The doctor told me I had a "silent migrane" although I did not experience any pain before my event. For a month afterward if I bent over, I would have a hammering pain in my head when I straightened up. Unlike the stories I have read, I had slurred speech for weeks and had trouble remembering how to use the phone or the passwords for my computer. I was not able to go back to work due to extreme fatigue and weakness in my legs. I am still sensitive to light and my vision seems blurred at times. I never had migranes before but the light can start one if I am not careful and wear wrap-around sunglasses when I am out of doors.

My doctor/neurologist have said I just have anxiety and worry something is going to happen to me. All tests I have had are negative. How can things change in just 6 hours. I was working, I had painted my bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and was looking forward to painting my dining room. I have trouble focusing and cannot entertain friends with my gormet dinners anymore because I get too overwhelmed with receipes. I still am not able to go back to work because I am easily fatigued and only have about one day a week where I have the strength to get just daily things done in my home. I have changed to a naturopathic doctor and she is helping me with the migranes and giving me B-12 shots which has helped somewhat. Do I fit the profile of a person with a TGA? I never got over it, I am not the same person I used to be.....Janet, 2 September 2008

Janet Mahan's picture

TGA posted by Janet, 9/02/08 @ 8:22 pm

Was wondering if I ever received a reply to my comment above. I just found this website again and was surprised to see that my comment was posted. Thanks. Janet

Jerry's picture


This only happens in the movies. While on a bike ride recently, I didn't remeber ridng home. After I got home, I went to the dump and then a shower. My wife tells me I left 6 messages on her cell phone, telling her to come home, something was wrong. The next thing I remember was a close friend coming in the back door, she startled me and I her. She told me in a very quiet voice to come outside and get in her car. My wife had been at a doctors appointment and had turned her cell phone off. When she left the Dr. she checked her messages and called her friend to come over and check on me, it was about 5 P.M. The next thing I remember was being in the hospital approximately 12 hours later. I had an MRI and a CT scan, not remembering either, Real scary. At one time there was 5 to 6 Drs. trying to figure out what was wrong, stroke, annuerism, epilepsy?
All nite long I asked the same questions over and over again. I have no recollection of those hours, still don't. Later in the day I was experiencing chest pains, was put on an EKG and found I was in A Flutter. This lead to a heart ablation 3 days later. Additional stress in my life and a harder than usual workout on my bike is what they are blaming my epoisode on. If you are looking at this website you are probably still as confused as I am. Good Luck.

Anonymous's picture


I'm a 63 year old woman in good health. I'd been feeling down because of a broken foot that prevented me from doing the things i like so I decided to work out at the gym lifting weights (from equipment you could use sitting.) I remember using one particular piece of equipment and next thing I knew I was in the hospital and someone was taking blood tests etc. All the tests came out negative and doctor said they had no idea what had happened but that I had come in very confused with memory loss. they did blood tests, urine tests and a cat scan and they all came up negative.

. After about 3 hours in the hospital my brain felt like it was clearing and I wondered what the hell I was doing there. I told a nurse I couldn't remember why I even came and she looked at my chart and said "memory loss." Eventually they discharged me, saying they had no clue what was wrong. I was very worried, fearing an early onset of alzimers or something until I found this website and others. I can't believe the doctor wasn't aware of this.I was embarassed about going back to the gym because I had absolutely no memory of using my combination lock (remmeber the numbers) to get dressed, leaving the gym, grabbing a cab or coming to the hospital

Two days later I went back to the gym, worried that I made a complete fool of myself because I couldn't remember what happened after lifting that last weight. A woman who I see often there told me that she had found me wondering around the change room (after changing) looking like I didn't know what i was doing. She pointed to my injured foot and asked me how it happnedn and i said I didn't know. She asked me a few other questions on which I was clueless and then apparently she said: "I think you should grab a cab and go to the hospital emergency. Do you think you can do that?" According to her I said I could. I assume (although I have no memory of this) that I took a cab, went to the hospital and told them something. they concluded i was out of it and took me in. I have absolutly
no memory of any of this.

I feel fine now. I went back today to lift weights (but went easier) and was fine. It was scary but also --now that I know what it was --very interesting. I hope i doesn't happen again.

Anonymous's picture


Had an episode last week after lifting weights at the gym. Not an unusual or new workout, but I have no memory of finishing my workout; driving home; concern of my wife and daughter; ER evaluation. Came around about 6 hours later. CT, MRI, EEG and labs all normal. TGA dx made. I am a litle worried about resuming my workouts. Seems like recurrences may be a little more frequent than I was led to believe.

Marilyn's picture


Diagnosed with TGA at emergency. Episode occurred after one Margarita and very loud music and dancing at a bar with girlfriends. I don't remember the ambulance ride nor the time in emergency except for a couple of things. Tests at emergency - CT scan, EKG, blood work - all normal; subsequent tests - MRI, ultrasound of carotid arteries, and echocardiogram of the heart - all normal. I'm wondering if I'll have another one. Very disconcerting. I'm 65 years old.

Leah's picture

I have been having episodes

I have been having episodes of what I think is TGA since I was about 10 years old. Severe confusion, numbness on the right side of the body, loss of speech, and sometimes headache afterwards. I am a 38 year old female and have had approximately 20 episodes. Lately, however my episodes have been after or during extremely strenuous exercise involving weight-lifting. This has finally prompted me to go and see a doctor. He has run every test but I suspect they will all be normal. My episodes include sudden visual abnormalities(being only able to see half of things), confusion(once so severe that I couldn't remember my children's names), sometimes numbness or tingling on the right side. The most scary effects last maybe an hour, but the hangover feeling lasts the rest of the day. I am able to remember most of what happens, I just can't remember anything while it's happening, it's the strangest thing and very scary. Like many of the articles, I have also been diagnosed as having migraines. I was relieved to find this site, but now I wonder what the long term effects will be having had so many episodes so early in life.

dale folk's picture

Transient Global Amnesia

I was told today by a neurologist that on the 20th of March 2008, I had a TGA episode. I am glad it has a name, but I was also told that it would never happen again. If you have never had one, you have no idea how terrifying it is. I did not remember how I got to my friends home or why I was there. I also could not remember that my mom had passed and that was a year ago on Febuary 20th, 2007. The last thing I remember was getting choked from a coughing fit, taking a sip of water and then woke up 6 hours later at home with my husband. He had come and taken me to the er and they did ekg, chest xray, and ct scan, I remember none of this. My blood pressure was very high during all of this at 165/146, and still is running high after the episode. Now I am scared that it will happen again. I hope that I am not alone if it does, but now I am worried.

Lillian's picture

Transcient Global Amnesia

My husband is 14 years older than I. He is 71 and in good health. Just after we were married (3 years ago) he experienced TGA. He woke up one morning and couldn't remember where he was (he was home), who I was or anything about his life. At my insistence, he did see a specialist, had an MRI and other tests which revealed nothing. He did not have any problem with this until this past week when he was with an insurance agent and couldn't remember the name of a bank we do business with. He has been with this bank for over 20 years. I told him the name of the bank and he laughed it off saying he couldn't think of it to "save his life".
This morning at 3:45 AM he woke me up (I was in another bedroom because my grandson was sleeping over). He asked me if I was "Lillian". I said I was. He asked if I was his wife. He said the only reason he knew my name was that he saw the Valentine's Day card I gave him. He kept asking me where he was. He looked at my sleeping grandson and asked "Who is that little boy?" I said, "That's Sonny". He said, "Who?" I said, "My grandson, Sonny". Then he said, "Oh...okay, that's Olivia's son" (my daughter). He gradually began to remember his immediate surroundings but was obviously very agitated and scared.
I urged him to let me drive him to the ER but he adamantly refused. Later this morning he seemed fine but he was very upset by his episode.
I will make sure he sees the doctor Monday (tomorrow). I am wondering if this is the precurser to Alzheimers. His memory is getting worse on small things that aren't too serious but it's become for frequent (like forgetting the bank name). Any comments or experience to help me deal with this?

Elizabeth's picture


I, too, was told that usually there will be only one episode...rarely two. It has reassured me to read of those of have had more.I have had four episodes of TGA and there does not seem to be a common cause or trigger. The after effects of these episodes is much more frightening than the actual episode (since I can't remember it). The after fear and anxiety is severe and seem to last about a month. After the last (4th) episode which lasted about 12 hours I had no memory of the preceding 3 days. I have snippets of memory but for all practical purposes those 3 days are gone (which really frustrates me because I was on vacation) . Another observation: each episode seems to erase pieces of past memory. I have had all the tests and the results are normal--no signs of stroke, TIA, epileptic seizure or alzheimers. I have been wearing a Med Alert bracelet that gives me some peace of mind. I usually travel alone and if I am found wandering around an airport at least they will get some medical help.

Anonymous's picture

Possible TGA episode

This may be the cause of a very bizarre incident that happened to me in 2006. I was driving home from a local store in the evening. The store is located about 2 miles from my home and I've driven that route so many times I could probably drive it in my sleep. Unfortunately, that is kind of what happened.

I had just left the store and was driving home, when I suddenly started feeling very confused and irritated. The cd I was playing seemed to get really loud all of a sudden and it was distracting to me but I didn't turn it off. The next thing I remember is, I made the usual left-turn but instead of being on the road I was supposed to be on, I was on a road I've never seen before. It was like I was transported to another location in the blink of an eye. I just kept saying, where the hell am I? (I was alone at the time!) I got my wits about me and figured if I turned around I could backtrack and see where I goofed up. When I did, I came back up to a stop light, onto a larger road with a name sign that I recognized but I didn't know where on the road, or in what direction I was going. When the light turned green, I just went left to see where I would end up, and eventually came to another road I recognized, got my directional sense back and drove home. I just set in my car in the driveway for 15 or 20 minutes, stunned. To this day, I still don't know what happened. Maybe it was TGA.

Anonymous's picture

Possible TGA Episode response

your description most closely resembles mine. After a very stressful morning, including a speeding ticket: On June 2,2008 I experienced a similar episode.
After being "lost" on a road I knew, and getting paniced, I stopped at a gas station for directions. The man gave very clear and simple ones (I thought) They included only 2 turns, and then I would be on a road I knew well. I followed the directions, and then--found myself right back on the original road! It seemed like a nightmare! (I had earlier tried to use a map, but could not locate my position on it! I am very map oriented, and usually have NO problems) I tried again to use the map, gave up & called my son in tears. He came and & I followed him to a road I recognized, and we both went to my home.
After a trip to the ER, & overnight at the Hospital all tests negitive for TIA or stroke, I am scheduled for an EEG tomorrow and a Sleep test to check for Apnea. My Neurologist thinks Sleep Apnea may play a part in TGA.

John Be.'s picture

third TGA

I've had three TGA in the last 12 years. The first was while I was driving home after a very long day's work, and feeling very stressed and frustrated. I got home okay, but couldn't remember the route I took or who I had worked with all day. When my wife took me to the ER, I recognized the nurse on duty, but kept asking her who she was. I remember asking her repeatedly (as confirmed by my wife) but five minutes later, I couldn't remember her name again. The next day my memory was fine. All follow up brain MRIs, stress tests, CT scans showed nothing.
My second TGA occurred 11 years later, and definitely occurred during a day of high stress. After an unpleasant confrontation, I went home and sat down to pay the monthly bills, and although I recognized the bills (Time Warner Cable, Verizon, ATT, etc.) I could not figure out that Time Warner Cable provided a television signal, and that Verizon and ATT were a phone companies. I was very confused, felt very uncomfortable about the loss of memory and felt scared. I was home alone, laid down to take a nap, and when I woke up, felt normal again. Medical exam reveiled nothing.
My third TGA occurred about 9 months after the second. This one occurred at my place of work while working on budget figures. Suddenly nothing in the budget looked familiar or made much sense, even though I had developed the entire budget over the previous several months. Again I felt uncomfortable, frustrated, and scared. I chose to work on something else that didn't require any thinking, and in about 1.5 hours, I felt normal again. My internal medicine doctor is requesting additional testing.
Each of the 3 TGAs has involved some temporary loss of memory and thinking ability, and some things that occurred during each TGA, I've never been able to recall.

teresa's picture


My mother had a TGA yesterday which lasted for about 8 hours of memory loss. She had just returned from a Bowls club AGM and could not remeber being there or taking notes of the meeting. On trying to recall her memory we mentioned that her body must be putting up a 'self defense' mechanism since the traumatic loss of her sister some 7 to 8 weeks earlier. On hearing this news she burst into tears and could not remember her sister dying or the funeral. She then repeatedly asked the same question of how she died and when did she die. She also had no recollection that my father had just had a total knee replacement. She also constantly kept asking what the date was. On looking on the calender she could see that her sister had died but could not recall it at all. She felt extremely confused, muddled and frightened. The next day she can recall her sisters death but still has no recollection of being at the AGM. She can remember my fathers operation but can not recall not believing us when we said he had had a knee operation. I myself was extremely worried and came straight home and started looking on the internet for some answers. I came upon this site fairly quickly and cannot express enough how grateful I was to have found this site. Not only could we self diagnose TGA but it immediately put my mind at rest that it was not a life threatening illness. We are still worried obviously that this could occur again at any given time and it was extremely distressing to witness, not to mention my poor mother who had to endure it, but it was reassuring to know what exactly it was. We visited the doctor this morning who confirmed that this was more than likely the prognosis of what happened and is sending my mother for more tests just to further put our mind at rest for cholosterol levels and blood pressure which can also trigger TGA and which if high could result in minor stroke or heart attack.We think that it was the emotional stress of losing her sister and then having to go through the worry of a knee operation for my father that triggered this incident.

C.C.'s picture

Around noon a couple of days

Around noon a couple of days into the new year, I recall going into the hall bathroom to put away some towels and from what I am told, when I came back out, I was at least 4 years in the past. My husband found me confused and wanting to know when we had painted and added the new fixtures and lights. Walking through the house, I wanted to know where we got the paintings on the walls and the TV. I knew him and his brother, who was visiting at the time, and where I was. He said I kept asking what day it was and I didn't know the year or month. I did know who is President. I don't recall approximately three hours.

My husband said I kept saying I had a migrane headache and was losing my vision as he drove me to the emergency room. After spending the night in the hospital, all tests were normal. The diagnosis - TGA.

Could the two over-the-counter cold tablets taken two days previous have triggered TGA? Did a migrane headache?

When I visited my family doctor the following week, he said they are seeing more of TGA. He has seen two other patients within the last year. For about a week after the episode, I felt like my head was in a cloud.