Transient global amnesia as a manifestation of transient cerebral ischemia

Acta Neurol Scand. 1980 Feb;61(2):115-24. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0404.1980.tb01473.x.


Ten patients with transient global amnesia (TGA) associated with symptoms of transient focal cerebral ischemia were seen at the University Department of Neurology, Arhus Kommunehospital in the period 1966-1978. All had either prior to or following the amnesic attack transient ischemic attacks (TIA) in the territory of the posterior cerebral circulation. On admission minor neurological deficits were noted in three and normal findings in the remaining seven. There was no evidence of epilepsy in any case. We studied the course (average, 77 months) and found that three had recurrent amnesic episodes. Four patients had only further transient focal cerebral ischemic attacks, while six developed a completed stroke, in five located in the distribution of the basilar artery. Seven patients had persistent memory impairment. TGA is one manifestation of TIA in the vertebrobasilar arterial system. When TGA appears in connection with other transient cerebral ischemic attacks, the prognosis is apparently grave with a great risk of a subsequent completed stroke or a permanent memory impairment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Amnesia / etiology*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / etiology
  • Epilepsy / complications
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / complications*
  • Male
  • Memory, Short-Term / physiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Time Factors
  • Vertebrobasilar Insufficiency / complications