Transient global amnesia. Precipitating activities and other observations

Arch Neurol. 1982 Oct;39(10):605-8. doi: 10.1001/archneur.1982.00510220003001.


Impressed with the number of patients whose spells of transient global amnesia were triggered by special circumstances, I have reviewed 78 such cases. Precipitating events were reported in 26 of 85 spells: eight occurred during highly emotional experiences; seven, during sexual intercourse; six, while the patient was in pain; two, while a trigeminal ganglion was being stimulated; and three, during a dip in the cold Atlantic Ocean. These observations suggest an electrophysiologic disturbance. The characteristics of the amnesia, the organization of memory, and behavior during spells were also considered.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Amnesia / etiology*
  • Amnesia / physiopathology
  • Amnesia / psychology
  • Coitus
  • Cold Temperature
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immersion
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / complications
  • Time Factors