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Controversies in Neurology
September 2006

Transient Global AmnesiaThe Continuing Quest for a Source

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Neurology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC.

Arch Neurol. 2006;63(9):1336-1338. doi:10.1001/archneur.63.9.1336

Because of its vague and short-lived nature, transient global amnesia (TGA) in many ways resembles a transient ischemic attack. While the event rate of transient neurological symptoms in general is probably underreported, TGA has a significantly lower annual incidence and recurrence rate than transient ischemic attacks.14 Additionally, TGA typically lasts longer than a transient ischemic attack and is not accompanied by focal physical signs or abnormal diagnostic study results.57 In the absence of specific objective findings, the diagnosis of TGA is based on clinical observation or history, and its pathogenesis remains obscure.