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Transient global amnesia occurring as migraine aura


We describe a case of transient global amnesia (TGA) occurring as migraine aura. TGA prevalence is higher among migraineurs and has been ascribed to spreading depression in the hippocampus. Our patient, a 38-year-old physician, developed migraine without aura in early adolescence and from age 20 years, had experienced rare attacks of migraine with aura,. At ages 36 and 38 years, he suffered two attacks of sudden-onset anterograde amnesia, which lasted 5 hours and were immediately followed by unilateral right-sided pounding headaches. Ictal neurological examination was normal except for fixation amnesia. Interictal brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and neurological examination were normal. Thus, in our patient affected with migraine with and without aura, TGA occurred as the aura phase of two migraine attacks. Our case report suggests that TGA shares common mechanisms with migraine.

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Received: 22 December 1999 / Accepted in revised form: 16 February 2000

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Montagna, P., Cerullo, A. & Cortelli, P. Transient global amnesia occurring as migraine aura. J Headache Pain 1, 57–59 (2000).

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