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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.

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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.