Transient global amnesia: Isolated event or healthy predictor? Clinical experience of an Italian Emergency Department

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Greta Barbieri *
Alessandro Cipriano
Simona Luly
Viola Del Nista
Eugenio Orsitto
Massimo Santini
(*) Corresponding Author:
Greta Barbieri |


Transient global amnesia (TGA) is a clinical syndrome characterized by reversible anterograde amnesia, in which the patient is alert, self-awareness appears intact and other neurological symptoms are absent. The diagnosis is based on the following criteria: i) witnessed event; ii) acute onset of anterograde amnesia; iii) no accompanying neurological symptoms; iv) no alteration of consciousness; v) no epileptic features; vi) resolution within 24 hours; vii) exclusion of other causes. We conducted a cohort study at the Department of Emergency Medicine on 119 patients with TGA diagnosis from 2010 to 2014, with follow-up evaluation by telephone interview. The objectives of our study were to evaluate the frequency of subsequent episodes, to identify predisposing factors, and to investigate whether TGA is a possible predictor of neurological disease. The frequency of comorbidity in our population was in line with literature. We observed a recurrence rate of 9.5%, with a prevalence for the male gender, while no other factor correlates with TGA recurrence. TGA was not a predictor of further neurological diseases. In conclusion, TGA is a benign pathology with a low probability of relapse. Accordingly, management in Emergency Department should be based on a correct initial clinical classification for rapid discharge.

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