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The Still Enigmatic Syndrome of Transient Global Amnesia: Interactions Between Neurological and Psychopathological Factors

Abstract : Transient global amnesia (TGA) is a neurological syndrome that usually occurs in middle-aged or older people. It is characterized by the abrupt onset of profound anterograde amnesia, associated with more variable retrograde amnesia and repetitive questioning. The whole episode lasts no more than 24 h. Almost 60 years after its first descriptions, the etiology of TGA remains unknown. Until now, TGA has been described exclusively as a memory disorder, but there is a growing body of evidence to show that emotional and psychological factors (as anxious and depressive symptoms) are present at different times of TGA. Their role therefore needs to be clarified. First, these factors seem to play a part in triggering TGA, at least for a subgroup of patients, suggesting the existence of an emotional TGA subtype. Second, recent research shows that almost all the TGA patients displayed modifications of their emotional state during the episode, possibly linked to sudden memory loss. The level of depressive and anxious symptoms could even reach a pathological threshold in patients with the so-called “emotional TGA subtype”. Third, the persistence of these depressive and anxious symptoms after the end of the episode could account for lasting memory disorders in some patients. Finally, the analysis of these emotional syndrome and emotional factors and the recent data in neuroimaging could allow us to gain a better understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms behind TGA. The aim of this review was thus to discuss whether the anxious and depressive symptoms are causative, resultant or coincidental of TGA.
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https://hal.univ-rennes2.fr/hal-01874580
Contributor : Laurence Leroux <>
Submitted on : Friday, September 14, 2018 - 2:23:54 PM
Last modification on : Friday, September 18, 2020 - 2:34:48 PM

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Audrey Noël, Peggy Quinette, Mathieu Hainselin, Jacques Dayan, Fausto Viader, et al.. The Still Enigmatic Syndrome of Transient Global Amnesia: Interactions Between Neurological and Psychopathological Factors. Neuropsychology Review, Springer Verlag, 2015, 25 (2), pp.125 - 133. ⟨10.1007/s11065-015-9284-y⟩. ⟨hal-01874580⟩

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