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 aren't fully understood.
Some commonly reported events that may trigger transient global amnesia include:
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- Sudden immersion in cold or hot water
- Strenuous physical activity
- Sexual intercourse
- Medical procedures, such as angiography or endoscopy
- Mild head trauma
- Acute emotional distress, as might be provoked by bad news, conflict or overwork
- Kremen S, et al. Transient global amnesia. http://www.uptodate.com. Accessed May 13, 2014.
- Ropper AH, et al. Adams and Victor's Principles of Neurology. 9th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies;2009. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/content.aspx?bookid=354§ionid=40236331&jumpsectionID=40239659&Resultclick=2. Accessed May 13, 2014.
- Bartsch T. Transient amnesic syndromes. Nature Reviews Neurology. 2013;9:86.
- Transient global amnesia. The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/neurologic_disorders/function_and_dysfunction_of_the_cerebral_lobes/transient_global_amnesia.html?qt=transient global amnesia&alt=sh. Accessed May 13, 2014.
- Daroff RB, et al. Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier. 2012. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed May 14, 2014.
- Lin KH, et al. Migraine is associated with a higher risk of transient global amnesia: A nationwide cohort study. European Journal of Neurology. 2014;21:718.
- Szabo K. Transient global amnesia. Frontiers in Neurology and Neuroscience. 2014;34:143.
- Petersen RC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 20, 2014.