University Of Tasmania

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Lesson of the month 2: Transient reversible amnesia in multiple sclerosis

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-22, 03:43 authored by Shanmugarajah, PD, Jane AltyJane Alty, Lily, O, Ford, HL
Transient amnestic syndromes are fascinating clinical entities and there are several subtypes. Transient global amnesia (TGA) is characterised by sudden onset of anterograde amnesia with repetitive questioning, lasting less than 24 hours. The pathophysiology of TGA involves the medial temporal lobes and hippocampi. Episodes of TGA are thought to involve venous congestion with Valsalvalike activities, vascular or migrainous mechanisms. In contrast, transient epileptic amnesia manifests as brief and frequent episodes of amnesia due to seizure activity in the temporal lobes. Transient memory disturbances can also be caused by transient ischaemic attack. We describe the first reported case of transient reversible amnesia directly attributable to acute demyelination. This case reminds us that multiple sclerosis relapses may present with acute cognitive impairment rather than the more classical physical symptoms. This is an important learning point in terms of appropriate management and eligibility for disease-modifying drugs.


Publication title

Clinical Medicine








Wicking Dementia Research Education Centre


Royal College of Physicians

Place of publication

11 St Andrews Place Regents Park, London, England, Nw1 4Le

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Clinical health not elsewhere classified