Amnesia global transitoria: Pérdida de memoria repentina (2022)

Durante un episodio de amnesia global transitoria (AGT), el recuerdo de acontecimientos recientes simplemente desaparece, por lo que la persona no logra recordar dónde está ni cómo ha llegado a un determinado lugar. De hecho, es posible que no recuerde nada de lo que está sucediendo en ese preciso momento. Así, la amnesia global transitoria se convierte en un episodio de preguntas e interrogantes constantes. Ahora, ¿por qué se produce la amnesia global transitoria? Lo respondemos a continuación.

¿Qué es la amnesia global transitoria?

Amnesia global transitoria: Pérdida de memoria repentina (1)

La pérdida transitoria de la memoria como trastorno neurológico distintivo ha sido objeto de estudio desde hace más de 50 años.

Esto, con la particularidad de que, probablemente, muchos de tales casos fueron clasificados como una manifestación de histeria.

Fisher y Adams (1964) propusieron el término transient global amnesia (amnesia global transitoria) para describir el síndrome caracterizado por un profundo, pero transitorio, “déficit de la memoria relativo a los eventos del pasado reciente y del presente”.

Por tanto, la amnesia global transitoria es un síndrome neuropsicológico en el que se produce una pérdida abrupta y pasajera de la capacidad para crear nuevos recuerdos, así como una amnesia retrógrada de intensidad variable.

Sin embargo, durante el episodio, la conciencia, identidad personal y atención permanecen preservadas.

Adicionalmente, es importante mencionar que no puede atribuirse a un trastorno neurológico más frecuente, como por ejemplo la epilepsia o el accidente cerebrovascular.

(Video) Amnesia Global Transitoria: causas y tratamiento

Epidemiología de la amnesia global transitoria

Se sabe que la AGT suele presentarse después de los 50 años. Además, estudios afirman que entre los 50 y los 79 años se encuentran la mayoría de los pacientes y que la edad con una mayor frecuencia de aparición es la década de los 70.

Así mismo, es muy poco frecuente que aparezca en pacientes con una edad menor de 40 años. Con respecto al sexo, la AGT afecta por igual a hombres y mujeres.

Lo habitual es que la persona padezca un solo episodio a lo largo de la vida. De hecho, a menos que la causa sean convulsiones o migrañas, únicamente entre un 5 y un 25% tienen episodios repetidos.

Después de un episodio, la confusión a menudo cede con rapidez y lo habitual es que se produzca una recuperación total, aunque a veces no se recuerda lo ocurrido durante el episodio.Así pues, los pacientes con AGT recurrente forman un subgrupo con más factores de riesgo vascular y con mayor riesgo de infarto cerebral.

Además, las personas con AGT recurrentes difieren de aquellas con AGT única, pues las primeras muestran frecuentemente ateroma carotídeo y enfermedad cardíaca.

¿Por qué se produce la amnesia global transitoria?

La patogenia del trastorno no ha sido esclarecida hasta la actualidad. Existen varias teorías que tratan de explicar el mecanismo de producción de la AGT.

Una de las hipótesis vigentes planteaque se trata de una disfunción transitoria e isquémica que ocurre en las estructuras talámicas y del hipocampo por un embolismo arteria-arteria al nivel de la arteria cerebral posterior. Otros mecanismos vasculares propuestos son el hemodinámico, el vasospasmos o quese trata de un tipo de ictus lacunar.

Amnesia global transitoria: Pérdida de memoria repentina (2)
(Video) Amnésia Global Transitória

Se ha sugerido también que la AGT puede ser un fenómeno epiléptico con implicación del lóbulo temporal.

Esto explicaría el inicio abrupto de los síntomas, escasa duración del ataque y reversibilidad clínica.

Así mismo, se ha propuesto que se trata de un fenómeno migrañoso porque en la fisiopatología de la migraña existen trastornos vasculares localizados.

Fundamentalmente en la circulación posterior, donde se encuentran afectados el tálamo y el hipocampo, que podrían inducir afectación de la memoria.

De esta forma, las preguntas repetitivas que formulan los pacientes durante el período amnésico pueden corresponder, en este contexto, a los síntomas positivos presentes en los episodios de migraña. Por otro lado, diversos autores proponen que la AGT tiene un mecanismo mixto en los que estarían implicados tanto fenómenos epilépticos como isquémicos.

Algunos factores desencadenantes pero no concluyentes serían:

  • Inmersión repentina en agua fría o caliente
  • Esfuerzo físico
  • Estrés emocional o psicológico
  • Dolor
  • Procedimientos médicos
  • Relaciones sexuales
  • Una maniobra de Valsalva (al intentar vaciar de aire los pulmones con fuerza sin dejar escapar el aire, como ocurre durante una deposición)

Diagnóstico diferencial de la amnesia global transitoria

  • El consumo excesivo de alcohol
  • Tomar dosis moderadamente elevadas de ciertos sedantes (como un barbitúrico)
  • Uso de diversos tipos de drogas y sustancias ilegales
  • A veces, la toma de dosis relativamente bajas de una benzodiazepina (un sedante). Especialmente, midazolam y triazolam

¿Cómo el estrés puede desencadenar una amnesia global transitoria?

Kessler y colaboradores (2001), proponen que la AGT podría ser consecuencia de un desequilibrio bioquímico que se produce en el cerebro al experimentar un estado de estrés y ansiedad.

En este tipo de situaciones se liberan, de forma exagerada, hormonas del estrés como los glucocorticoides, que pueden alterar el funcionamiento neuronal y, como consecuencia, el de la memoria.

Amnesia global transitoria: Pérdida de memoria repentina (3)
(Video) Amnesia Global Transitoria. Urgencias más frecuentes en Psiquiatría

De hecho, se produce un solapamiento entre las áreas cerebrales afectadas durante la AGT y las regiones con una densidad mayor de receptores de las hormonas del estrés.

Además, estos autores justifican la franja de edad en la que suele aparecer la AGT, pues argumentan que, con el paso del tiempo, aumenta la vulnerabilidad neuronal, lo que sensibiliza a la acción de las hormonas del estrés.

También, formularon la hipótesis de que la AGT puede ser ocasionada por la alteración del funcionamiento del sistema endógeno de benzodiacepinas debido a la vivencia de experiencias estresantes o que produzcan ansiedad.

Se basan en el hecho de que al administrar benzodiacepinas exógenas se puede provocar una amnesia transitoria. Así pues, han concluido que los pacientes con AGT son particularmente sensibles al estrés psicológico.

¿Cómo identifico los síntomas?

Las personas con amnesia global transitoria pierden repentinamente, pero de manera temporal, la capacidad de almacenar nuevos recuerdos y de recordar lo acontecido después de que ocurriera la amnesia.

Se encuentran en estado de alerta y, a menudo, repiten la misma pregunta o frase porque no pueden recordarla. Además, se pueden confundir en relación al tiempo y lugar, sin embargo, suelen identificar adecuadamente su identidad y la de los demás.

Por otro lado, pueden proporcionar respuestas coherentes a preguntas que no dependen de la memoria. La pérdida de memoria dura generalmente de 1 a 8 horas, pero puede abarcar desde 30 minutos hasta 24 horas (rara vez).

Siguiendo esta línea, la amnesia temporal causada por el alcohol o por un fármaco o sustancia, puede afectar la concentración, capacidad de pensar con claridad y de formar y almacenar nuevos recuerdos. Sin embargo, se diferencia de la amnesia global transitoria en los siguientes aspectos:

(Video) Amnésia Global Transitória e Amnésia Global Permanente - Dr Paulo Bertoluccio

  • Olvidan solo los acontecimientos que sucedieron justo antes y/o durante el periodo en que estuvieron afectados por la toma de alcohol o drogas.
  • Suelen estar confundidos únicamente mientras se encuentran bajo la influencia del alcohol o la droga.
  • Por lo general, la amnesia reaparece solo si beben la misma cantidad de alcohol o toman la misma cantidad de la droga.

¿Cómo se diagnostica la amnesia global transitoria?

Por regla general, el médico diagnostica la amnesia global transitoria basándose principalmente en los síntomas, a través de una evaluación médica.

Amnesia global transitoria: Pérdida de memoria repentina (4)

Asimismo, se puede completar el diagnóstico por medio de imágenes cerebrales, por ejemplo, tomografía computarizada (TC) o resonancia magnética nuclear (RMN).

También se pueden realizar otras pruebas como un análisis de sangre para detectar alcohol y trastornos de la coagulación o un análisis de orina para detectar drogas ilícitas.

Con esto, debido a que una convulsión en el lóbulo temporal puede afectar temporalmente la memoria, los médicos pueden indicar una electroencefalografía (EEG) para detectar actividad eléctrica anormal en el cerebro que sugiera una convulsión.

Cuando se produce por primera vez la amnesia global transitoria, la RMN no muestra anomalías específicas. Sin embargo, al cabo de unos días puede mostrar pequeños puntos en el hipocampo (importante para la formación y la recuperación de recuerdos).

Las manchas pueden representar pequeñas áreas donde el flujo sanguíneo está disminuido, lo que sugeriría una posible causa de la amnesia.

Conclusión

Cualquier persona que experimente pérdida de la memoria súbita de todos los acontecimientos previos al momento presente necesitará atención médica de emergencia.

(Video) Amnésia Global Transitória

Es importante que si un amigo o un familiar manifiesta estos síntomas en tu presencia le acompañes al centro de salud más cercano. Y, debido a que no podrá recordar acontecimientos recientes, deberás proporcionar información importante al médico.

¿Por qué se produce la amnesia global transitoria? Hemos visto varias hipótesis sobre las causas. No obstante, la certeza que hoy en día tenemos es que no existe un tratamiento específico. Además, no tiene efectos duraderos y se repite con muy poca frecuencia.

Referencias bibliográficas

  • Arena, J. E. y Rabinstein, A. A. (2015). Transient global amnesia. Mayo Clinic proceedings, 90(2), 264-72. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mayocp.
  • Bartsch, T. y Deuschl, G. (2010). Transient global amnesia: functional anatomy and clinical implications. Lancet Neurology, 9(2), 205-214. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1474-4422 (09)70344-8.
  • Fisher, C. M. y Adams, R. D. (1964). Transient Global Amnesia. Acta neurologica Scandinavica. Supplementum, 40(9), 1-83. http://doi.org/10.1111/(ISSN)1600-0404
  • Kessler, J., Markowitsch, H. J. Rudolf, J. y Heiss, W. D. (2001). Continuing cognitive impairment after isolated transient global amnesia. The International journal of neuroscience, 106(3-4), 159-68. https://doi.org/10.3109/00207450109149746.

FAQs

What triggers TGA? ›

While the likelihood of transient global amnesia after these events is very low, some commonly reported events that may trigger it include: Sudden immersion in cold or hot water. Strenuous physical activity. Sexual intercourse. Medical procedures, such as angiography or endoscopy.

Does TGA lead to dementia? ›

Age and diabetes were significantly associated with dementia in TGA. Conclusions: TGA increased the long-term risk of dementia. Age and diabetes were notable factors associated with dementia after TGA.

Can transient global amnesia last longer than 24 hours? ›

Transient means “passing,” and TGA episodes usually last no more than several hours. In rare cases, TGA lasts up to 24 hours. People with TGA remember who they are and can remember their friends and family members. They can still perform complex daily tasks, such as cooking or driving.

What drugs can cause transient global amnesia? ›

Iatrogenic amnesia is one of the main aetiologies of transient amnesia. Benzodiazepines and anticholinergic drugs are considered to be the drugs most often responsible for iatrogenic amnesia.

What does TGA feel like? ›

Summary. Transient global amnesia (TGA) is a condition characterized by sudden onset of memory loss and confusion. During an episode of TGA, a person is not able to make new memories. The person may be disoriented in regard to time and place, but can remember who they are and can recognize family members.

What part of the brain is affected by TGA? ›

Transient global amnesia (TGA) is an episodic memory disorder that affects the hippocampus (Eustache et al., 1999). It typically occurs in middle-aged to elderly populations (Arena and Rabinstein, 2015). A large proportion of TGA cases are preceded by stressful events which may be emotional or physical (Fisher, 1982).

Is TGA a mini stroke? ›

It is often wrongly diagnosed as a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or 'mini' stroke. However, transient global amnesia does not have the sinister implications of a transient ischemic attack, it is not the precursor to a stroke.

Can anxiety cause transient global amnesia? ›

The findings suggest a role of emotional stress factors in the manifestation of TGA in a subgroup of patients. Stress may be one trigger involved in the emergence of transient lesions in the hippocampal CA1 region, which are thought to be the structural and functional correlate of TGA.

Is a TGA a stroke? ›

Our results are consistent with several smaller studies that suggest that TGA is benign in terms of future vascular events,6,817 and our results do not support other studies that suggest that TGA heralds stroke in a similar fashion as TIA.

Does stress cause transient global amnesia? ›

The main clinical feature of transient global amnesia (TGA) is an acute anterograde memory disturbance that resolves within 24 h. It often occurs in the context of physical or emotional stress.

How do you deal with transient global amnesia? ›

No treatment is needed for transient global amnesia. It gets better without treatment and has no known lasting effects.

Can alcohol cause transient global amnesia? ›

What causes transient global amnesia is not known, but a similar, temporary loss of memory can result from drinking too much alcohol or taking certain drugs. People with transient global amnesia suddenly but temporarily become unable to store new memories or to recall events that occurred during the episode.

What prescription drugs are linked to memory loss? ›

Caution! These 10 Drugs Can Cause Memory Loss
  • Antianxiety drugs (Benzodiazepines) ...
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  • Antiseizure drugs. ...
  • Antidepressant drugs (Tricyclic antidepressants) ...
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  • Hypertension drugs (Beta-blockers)
9 Feb 2016

How do you talk to someone with memory loss? ›

If you're caring for someone with memory loss, these five communication tips may help.
  1. When speaking with the person try to avoid correcting, arguing, or using logic. ...
  2. Break questions and tasks down into multiple parts if needed. ...
  3. Keep background noise to minimum. ...
  4. Limit choices.
  5. Communicate through touch.
25 Oct 2017

Is transient global amnesia recurrent? ›

Transient global amnesia is considered a benign event that is unlikely to recur. Studies suggest that TGA is not associated with an increased risk for development of other neurologic disorders, such as stroke, dementia, or epilepsy.

Has anyone had transient global amnesia? ›

Finally, a neurologist delivered the diagnosis: transient global amnesia (TGA), an episode of sudden and short-lived forgetting that is most common in people between 50 and 70. It affects between three and eight of every 100,000 people each year.

How long does transient global amnesia usually last? ›

Treatment. Transient global amnesia goes away on its own within 24 hours.

Why am I suddenly forgetting things? ›

Forgetfulness can arise from stress, depression, lack of sleep or thyroid problems. Other causes include side effects from certain medicines, an unhealthy diet or not having enough fluids in your body (dehydration). Taking care of these underlying causes may help resolve your memory problems.

How long do people with TGA live? ›

Untreated, over 50 percent of infants with transposition will die in the first month of life. Ninety percent will die in the first year.

Do statins cause transient global amnesia? ›

A: Atorvastatin (Lipitor) and other statins such as simvastatin and rosuvastatin may sometimes trigger a reaction called transient global amnesia (TGA). This is a sudden loss of memory that may last a few hours or occasionally as long as a day. Many readers of this column have reported similar reactions.

Does high blood pressure cause TGA? ›

Our main findings show a strong association between acute hypertensive peaks and TGA in patients not adapted to chronic hypertension, indicating a vascular cause of the disease.

Is TGA hereditary? ›

What causes TGA? There is no known cause of TGA. Some patients with TGA have genetic disorders. TGA does not run in families, but there is an increased chance of having a congenital heart defect if a relative also was born with a heart defect.

Whats the difference between a TGA and a TIA? ›

TGA is an isolated memory disorder and there are no other neurological signs. a TIA is associated with other neurological signs such as motor or sensory dysfunction.

Can lack of sleep cause transient global amnesia? ›

Abstract. Objective Recognised causes of transient amnesia include transient global amnesia, transient epileptic amnesia, psychogenic amnesia and posterior circulation TIAs. Here we describe a previously unrecognised cause in otherwise healthy individuals: transient amnesia induced by sleep deprivation.

How do people get amnesia? ›

Any disease or injury that affects the brain can interfere with memory. Amnesia can result from damage to brain structures that form the limbic system, which controls your emotions and memories.

Can amnesia be cured? ›

Amnesia is caused by brain damage. There's currently no treatments that can essentially cure amnesia, but instead treatments concentrate on condition management. Treatment focuses on therapies and techniques that help improve quality of life.

Is transient global amnesia a side effect of the Covid vaccine? ›

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spread rapidly, resulting in a global pandemic for which vaccines were quickly developed. As their safety continues to be monitored, cases of transient global amnesia (TGA) following mRNA vaccination with elasomeran have been reported.

Does transient global amnesia disappear? ›

With transient global amnesia, you do remember who you are, and you recognize the people you know well. Episodes of transient global amnesia always get better slowly over a few hours. During recovery, you may begin to remember events and circumstances.

Which of the following is characteristic of transient global amnesia? ›

Transient global amnesia (TGA) is a neurological disorder whose key defining characteristic is a temporary but almost total disruption of short-term memory with a range of problems accessing older memories.

Does amnesia show on MRI? ›

A CT scan or MRI scan of the brain is often prescribed in addition to other tests. This is done to detect structural or functional lesions that may be causative in amnesia, for example, a stroke, bleeding inside the brain or a head injury (TBI) that may have led to amnesia.

Is memory loss a trauma response? ›

Physical, emotional, and psychological trauma can all play a factor with memory loss. You can experience permanent or temporary memory loss depending on the type of trauma.

Will my memory improve if I stop drinking? ›

If you stop drinking over six months to a year you will see some improvement in your memory. But if you keep drinking heavily your memory may not recover at all.

Can stress cause sudden memory loss? ›

Stress and anxiety can also get in the way of concentration. When you are tense and your mind is overstimulated or distracted, your ability to remember can suffer. Stress caused by an emotional trauma can also lead to memory loss.

What medications make dementia worse? ›

The researchers found that anticholinergic drugs in general were associated with a higher risk of dementia. More specifically, however, anticholinergic antidepressants, antipsychotic drugs, anti-Parkinson's drugs, bladder drugs, and epilepsy drugs were associated with the highest increase in risk.

What is one of the first signs of cognitive decline? ›

Signs that you may be experiencing cognitive decline include: Forgetting appointments and dates. Forgetting recent conversations and events. Feeling increasingly overwhelmed by making decisions and plans.

How can I make my memory strong? ›

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What causes dementia patients to suddenly get worse? ›

other long-term health problems – dementia tends to progress more quickly if the person is living with other conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes or high blood pressure, particularly if these are not well-managed.

What are the last stages of dementia before death? ›

Signs of the final stages of dementia include some of the following: Being unable to move around on one's own. Being unable to speak or make oneself understood. Eating problems such as difficulty swallowing.

What stage of dementia is forgetting family members? ›

In stage 6 of dementia, a person may start forgetting the names of close loved ones and have little memory of recent events.

What triggers TGA? ›

While the likelihood of transient global amnesia after these events is very low, some commonly reported events that may trigger it include: Sudden immersion in cold or hot water. Strenuous physical activity. Sexual intercourse. Medical procedures, such as angiography or endoscopy.

Is TGA a precursor to dementia? ›

Our study found that having 1 or more episodes of TGA does not impact the risk of developing subsequent cognitive impairment.

How often does TGA occur? ›

The incidence of TGA is about 5.2-10/100,000 per year in the general population. In individuals aged 50 and older, the incidence increases to 23.5 to 32/100,000 per year.

Does TGA run in families? ›

There is no known cause of TGA. Some patients with TGA have genetic disorders. TGA does not run in families, but there is an increased chance of having a congenital heart defect if a relative also was born with a heart defect.

What TGA means? ›

Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)

How long do TGA patients live? ›

Untreated, over 50 percent of infants with transposition will die in the first month of life. Ninety percent will die in the first year.

Can alcohol cause transient global amnesia? ›

What causes transient global amnesia is not known, but a similar, temporary loss of memory can result from drinking too much alcohol or taking certain drugs. People with transient global amnesia suddenly but temporarily become unable to store new memories or to recall events that occurred during the episode.

Is TGA a mini stroke? ›

It is often wrongly diagnosed as a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or 'mini' stroke. However, transient global amnesia does not have the sinister implications of a transient ischemic attack, it is not the precursor to a stroke.

What happen in TGA? ›

In transposition of the great arteries, the main arteries leading away from the heart — the aorta and the pulmonary artery — are switched (transposed). Transposition of the great arteries (TGA) is a serious, rare heart problem in which the two main arteries leaving the heart are reversed (transposed).

How does a TGA work? ›

A Simple TGA Concept to remember: TGA measures a sample's weight as it is heated or cooled in a furnace. A TGA consists of a sample pan that is supported by a precision balance. That pan resides in a furnace and is heated or cooled during the experiment. The mass of the sample is monitored during the experiment.

Why is TGA used? ›

TGA is a powerful technique for the measurement of thermal stability of materials including polymers. In this method, changes in the weight of a specimen are measured while its temperature is being increased. Moisture and volatile contents of a sample can be measured by TGA.

Videos

1. Amnesia Global Transitoria
(Laboratorio de Neurociencias)
2. SIGN-UR: Amnesia Global Transitoria y Demencias Reversibles
(Student Interest Group in Neurology UR)
3. Salud – Amnesia global transitoria
(Arriba Corazones)
4. Amnesia Global Transitoria
(Psicología 2018)
5. AMNESIA GLOBAL TRANSITORIA
(eliseo chirinos)
6. Qué es la amnesia y tipos de amnesia
(Psicoactiva)

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