What is transient global amnesia?

Steven A. Meyers, MD
Diagnostic Radiology

Transient global amnesia is a condition where a person suddenly is unable to form new memories for a brief period of time. The person knows who they are and can recognize others but may appear confused as they will repeat themselves and ask the same question over and over.

The condition appears to be benign and resolves without treatment over a period of hours. The cause is unknown but the condition does not seem to be a risk factor for any other problems in the future and rarely recurs.

Transient global amnesia is a temporary event in which your ability to recall where you are or what happened in the recent past completely disappears. You are still able to remember who you and who those around you are. Transient global amnesia is not connected to neurological conditions like strokes, and it usually comes on suddenly and disappears just as quickly. Transient global amnesia is rare and the temporary memory loss is harmless.

Continue Learning about Amnesia

What is retrograde amnesia?
Discovery HealthDiscovery Health
Retrograde amnesia is a condition in which someone is unable to recall stored memories, such as thei...
More Answers
Can amnesia be life-threatening?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Most forms of amnesia, especially those that fade quickly, will not seriously harm the body. Wernick...
More Answers
What is dissociative amnesia?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Dissociative amnesia is a disorder that occurs when a person who has suffered a trauma, usually in c...
More Answers
Are dementia and amnesia the same thing?
NorthShore University HealthSystemNorthShore University HealthSystem
Amnesia is memory loss that involves the inability to recall information, events, or facts. Amnesia ...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.