Transient global amnesia: concomitant episodic memory and positron emission tomography assessment in two additional patients

Neurosci Lett. 2002 May 31;325(1):62-6. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3940(02)00233-1.


Transient global amnesia (TGA) is characterized by a profound but transient deficit of episodic memory. The study of cerebral blood flow and oxygen metabolism with positron emission tomography (PET) provides relevant pathophysiologic data, but only three patients have been reported so far and in only one was concomitant neuropsychological testing performed. We report here the concomitant neuropsychological and PET assessment of two additional patients. Episodic disturbance was characterized by a storage disturbance for one case and an incapacity to learn episodic associations in the other, illustrating cognitive heterogeneity despite similar neurological presentation. PET findings disclosed mild but significant changes in the amygdala (right or left) and left posterior hippocampus, which could account for both the storage disturbance and the inability to associate episodic components. The PET findings also argued in favor of a vascular disturbance accompanying TGA.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Amnesia, Transient Global / diagnostic imaging*
  • Amnesia, Transient Global / psychology*
  • Amygdala / diagnostic imaging
  • Cognition
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Memory*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed*