What is transient global amnesia?

Transient global amnesia is a temporary loss of memory function. Immediate recall ability is preserved, as is remote memory; however, patients experience striking loss of memory for recent events and an impaired ability to retain new information. In some cases, the degree of retrograde memory loss is mild.

During an episode of transient global amnesia, patient’s recall of recent events simply disappears. Things like where the person is or where it has to go as well as remembering things that happened a day, a month or even a year ago may be hard to recall. However, the patients remember who they are and are able to recognize the people they know well, but the memory loss is still troubling.

Fortunately, transient global amnesia is rare, seemingly harmless and unlikely to happen again. Episodes are usually short-lived, and afterward your memory is fine.

According to Mayo Clinic, the underlying cause of transient global amnesia is unknown. There appears to be a link between transient global amnesia and a history of migraines, though the underlying factors that contribute to both conditions arent fully understood.
Some commonly reported events that may trigger transient global amnesia include:

(1) Sudden immersion in cold or hot water

(2) Strenuous physical activity

(3) Sexual intercourse

(4) Medical procedures, such as angiography or endoscopy

(5) Mild head trauma

(6) Acute emotional distress, as might be provoked by bad news, conflict or overwork...