Factors determining recurrence in transient global amnesia

Rebecca Tynas, Peter K. Panegyres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Aetiology of transient global amnesia (TGA) remains uncertain, though many have been proposed, including ischaemic, migrainous or epileptic pathologies. Methods: We attempted to determine risk factors for TGA, as well as prognostic factors that may cause recurrence. We evaluated clinical history, family history and magnetic resonance diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) studies of 93 prospective patients with TGA. Patients were followed from 2004 to 2016. Fifteen of 93 (16%) patients experienced a recurrence of TGA. Results: Among precipitating events, physical activities inducing Valsalva-like manoeuvres were most common, followed by emotional stress. Eighty-four patients had possible comorbidities or risk factors for TGA, though no single risk factor was ubiquitous. Risk factors associated with recurrence were head injury (isolated vs. recurrent, 16.7% vs. 53.5%, p < 0.01), depression (isolated vs. recurrent, 15.4% vs 46.7%, p = 0.01) and family history of dementia (isolated vs. recurrent, 20.5% vs. 46.7%, p = 0.03). Of 15 patients with confirmed recurrent TGA, two developed dementia and four subjective memory impairment. DWI lesions were observed in 24 patients and were located anywhere within the hippocampus. Conclusions: DWI lesions were not significantly associated with outcomes (recurrence, subjective memory impairment, dementia). We have found that depression, previous head injury and family history of dementia may predict TGA recurrence.

Original languageEnglish
Article number83
JournalBMC Neurology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2020


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