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June 1983

Transient Global Amnesia and the Law

Author Affiliations

238A Augustus St Cornwall, Ontario Canada K6J 3W3

Arch Neurol. 1983;40(6):393. doi:10.1001/archneur.1983.04050060093028

To the Editor.  —I am sure many of my colleagues find the meticulous description of patient histories and phenomena by C. Miller Fisher as educational and informative as I do. I was hoping to find some reference to possible legal implications of transient global amnesia (TGA) in his recent article on the subject (Archives 1982;39:605-608). From time to time, neurologists are requested to provide information to lawyers and to give evidence as expert witnesses at court proceedings. Not infrequently, persons charged with some illegal activity claim amnesia for it. It is conceivable that some of them had episodes of TGA. Much has been written about TGA over the years, and it is surprising that, to my knowledge, no one has addressed even the possibility that rules and laws might be broken during an episode. The pathophysiologic basis for TGA is a temporary functional separation of the areas of the brain

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