Recurrent Transient Global Amnesia –  Four Case Reports

Authors: A. Mitášová 1;  J. Bednařík 1,2
Authors‘ workplace: Neurologická klinika LF MU a FN Brno 1;  CEITEC – Středoevropský technologický institut, MU, Brno 2
Published in: Cesk Slov Neurol N 2015; 78/111(5): 580-584
Category: Case Report


Transient global amnesia (TGA) is characterized by sudden onset of severe anterograde amnesia and absence of other focal neurological deficits. Although TGA is usually considered as monophasic disease, recurrence is not rare. Etiopathogenesis of recurrent cases has not yet been systematically evaluated. The aim of our study is to evaluate occurrence and pathophysiological factors of recurrent TGA. Within five years, 55 patients with TGA were admitted to our clinic, four of which (7.3%) presented with the recurrent form. All recurrent cases are presented as case reports. Our series showed that the incidence of recurrent TGA is not rare and, in our group (7.3%), corresponds to the reported data. Relapses can develop within several months up to several years after the first attack. Etiopathogenesis is probably the same as in non-recurrent forms of TGA. We considered possible association with migraine and vascular cardiac embolic origin. We did not find any association with epilepsy and the patient histories did not support familial occurrence.

Key words:
memory – transient global amnesia – tran­sient ischemic attack – migraine

The authors declare they have no potential conflicts of interest concerning drugs, products, or services used in the study.

The Editorial Board declares that the manu­script met the ICMJE “uniform requirements” for biomedical papers.


1. Fisher CM, Adams RD. Transient global amnesia. Acta Neurol Scand 1964; 40 (Suppl 9): 1– 83.

2. Hort J, Rusina R. Paměť a její poruchy. 1. vyd. Praha: Maxdorf 2007.

3. Hodges JR, Warlow CP. Syndromes of transient amnesia: towards a classification. A study of 153 cases. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1990; 53(10): 834– 843.

4. Hodges JR, Warlow CP. The aetiology of transient global amnesia. A case‑ control study of 114 cases with prospective follow‑up. Brain 1990; 113(3):639– 657.

5. Quinette P, Guillery‑ Girard B, Dayan J, de la Sayette V, Marquis S, Viader F et al. What does transient global amnesia really mean? Review of the literature and thorough study of 142 cases. Brain 2006; 129(7): 1640– 1658.

6. Berli R, Hutter A, Waespe W, Bachli EB. Transient global amnesia –  not so rare after all. Swiss Med Wkly 2009; 139(19– 20): 288– 292.

7. Zeman AZ, Hodges JR. Transient global amnesia. Br J Hosp Med 1997; 58(6): 257– 260.

8. Yang Y, Kim S, Kim JH. Ischemic evidence of transient global amnesia: location of the lesion in the hip­pocampus. J Clin Neurol 2008; 4(2): 59– 66. doi: 10.3988/ jcn.2008.4.2.59.

9. Ay H, Furie KL, Yamada K, Koroshetz WJ. Diffusion‑ weigh­ted MRI characterizes the ischemic lesion in transient global amnesia. Neurology 1998; 51(3): 901– 903.

10. Winbeck K, Etgen T, von Einsiedel HG, Röttinger M, Sander D. DWI in transient global amnesia and TIA: proposal for an ischemic origin of TGA. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2005; 76(3): 438– 441.

11. Romero JR, Mercado M, Beiser AS, Pikula A, Seshadri S,Kelly‑ Hayes M et al. Transient global amnesia and neurologic events: the framingham heart study. Front Neurol 2013; 4: 47. doi: 10.3389/ fneur.2013.00047.

12. Enzinger C, Thimary F, Kapeller P, Ropele S, Schmidt R,Ebner F et al. Transient global amnesia: diffusion‑ weight­­ed imaging lesions and cerebrovascular disease. Stroke 2008; 39(8): 2219– 2225. doi: 10.1161/ STROKEAHA.107.508655.

13. Sander K, Sander D. New insights into transient global amnesia: recent imaging and clinical findings. Lancet Neurol 2005; 4(7): 437– 444.

14. Menéndez González M, Rivera MM. Transient global amnesia: incerasing evidence of a venous etiology. Arch Neurol 2006; 63(9): 1334– 1336.

15. Nedelmann M, Eicke BM, Dietrich M. Incerased incidence of jugular valve insufficiency in patiens with transient global amnesia. J Neurol 2005; 252(12): 1482– 1486.

16. Schreiber SJ, Doepp F, Klingebiel R, Valdueza JM. Internal jugular vein valve incompetence and intracranial venous anatomy in transient global amnesia. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2005; 76(4): 509– 513.

17. Chung CP, Hsu HY, Chao AC, Chang FC, Sheng WY, Hu HH. Detection of intracranial venous reflux in patients of transient global amnesia. Neurology 2006; 66(12): 1873– 1877.

18. Pantoni L, Lamassa M, Inzitari D. Transient global amnesia: a review emphasizing pathogenic aspects. Acta Neurol Scand 2000; 102(5): 275– 283.

19. Schmidtke K, Ehmsen L. Transient global amnesia and migraine. A case control study. Eur Neurol 1998; 40(1): 9– 14.

20. Melo TP, Ferro JM, Ferro H. Transient global amnesia. A case control study. Brain 1992; 115(1): 261– 270.

21. Rowan AJ, Protass LM. Transient global amnesia: clinical and electroencephalographic findings in 10 cases. Neurology 1979; 29(6): 869– 872.

22. Fisher CM. Transient global amnesia. Precipitating activities and other observations. Arch Neurol 1982; 39(10): 605– 608.

23. Klötzsch C, Sliwka U, Berlit P, Noth J. An increased frequency of patent foramen ovale in patients with transient global amnesia. Analysis of 53 consecutive patients. Arch Neurol 1996; 53(6): 504– 508.

24. Owen D, Paranandi B, Sivakumar R, Seevaratnam M. Classical diseases revisited: transient global amnesia. Postgrad Med J 2007; 83(978): 236– 239.

25. Saura D, Peñafiel P, Morales A, Albert L, Martínez F, de la Morena G et al. Transient global amnesia after dobutamine –  atropine stress echocardiography. Eur J Echocardiogr 2008; 9(4): 567– 568.

26. Hiraga A, Matsunaga T. Transient global amnesia after gastroscopy. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2006; 77(8): 995– 996.

27. Profice P, Rizzello V, Pennestrì F, Pilato F, Della Marca G, Sestito A et al. Transient global amnesia during transoesophageal echocardiogram. Neurol Sci 2008; 29(6): 477– 479. doi: 10.1007/ s10072‑ 008‑ 1034‑ y.

28. Pai MC, Yang SS. Transient global amnesia: a retrospective study of 25 patients. Zhonghua Yi Xue Za Zhi 1999; 62(3): 140– 145.

29. Melo TP, Ferro JM, Paiva T. Are brief or recurrent transient global amnesias of epileptic origin? J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1994; 57(5): 622– 625.

30. Auyeung M, Tsoi TH, Cheung CM, Fong DY, Li R, Chan JKet al. Association of diffusion weighted imaging abnormalities and recurrence in transient global amnesia.J Clin Neurosci 2011; 18(4): 531– 534. doi: 10.1016/ j.jocn.2010.08.019.

31. Corston RN, Godwin‑Austen RB. Transient global amnesia in four brothers. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1982; 45(4): 375– 377.

32. Segers‑ van Rijn J, de Bruijn SF. Transient global amnesia: a genetic disorder? Eur Neurol 2010; 63(3): 186– 187. doi: 10.1159/ 000290249.

33. Vyhnalek M, Bojar M, Jerabek J, Hort J. Long lasting recurrent familiar transient global amnesia after betablocker treatment withdrawal. Neuro Endocrinol Lett 2008; 29(1): 44– 46.

34. Schakelaar JH. Two attacks of transient global amnesia within a year: a case report. Cases J 2009; 2: 6309. doi: 10.4076/ 1757‑ 1626‑ 2‑ 6309.

Paediatric neurology Neurosurgery Neurology

Article was published in

Czech and Slovak Neurology and Neurosurgery

Issue 5

2015 Issue 5

Most read in this issue

This topic is also in:

Forgotten password

Don‘t have an account?  Create new account

Forgotten password

Enter the email address that you registered with. We will send you instructions on how to set a new password.


Don‘t have an account?  Create new account