Recurrent transient global amnesia, a manifestation of ischemic cerebrovascular disease

Manuel Toledo, Francesc Pujadas, Francisco Purroy, Noemí Lara, Manuel Quintana, José Álvarez-Sabin

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13 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Transient Global Amnesia (TGA) is a self-limited anterograde memory loss related classically to transient ischemic attacks (TIA), migraine and epilepsy. This study intended to describe clinical characteristics, the vascular risk factors and the evolution of TGA and to define clinical factors associated with recurrence. PATIENTS AND METHOD: Of 139 patients with TGA, 124 were followed up for a mean time of 71.9 (39) months; these patients were compared with other 124 patients with TIA. The TGA group was subdivided in 2 subgroups: Unique-TGA (98 cases): 1 episode, and recurrent-TGA (26 cases): 2 or more episodes. Recurrent-TGA were also compared with unique-TGA and the TIA groups. RESULTS: The mean age of patients of the TGA group was 63 (7.96) and 58% were women. 30% had a history of migraine and 30% had anxiety. The risk of annual recurrence was 4.4%. Recurrent-TGA patients had more electroencephalographic registers showing non-epileptogenic abnormalities. The TIA group had more vascular risk factors and displayed more ischemic events during the follow-up. Recurrent-TGA patients had the same vascular risk factors as TIA patients and they also had a significantly more frequent history of stroke and trend to suffer new ischemic events than patients in the unique-TGA group. CONCLUSIONS: There is no vascular pathology substrate in TGA patients, suggesting an ischemic ethiology due to arteriosclerosis or cardioembolism. Patients with recurrent TGA constitute a subgroup with more vascular risk factors and an increased risk to suffer new strokes. For that reason we propose that these patients be studied as ischemic patients.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105.339
Pages (from-to)361-365
JournalMedicina Clinica
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sept 2005


  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Memory
  • Recurrent transient global amnesia
  • Transient ischemic attack


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