Journal Club: Diffusion-Weighted MRI in Transient Global Amnesia and Its Diagnostic Implications

The term transient global amnesia (TGA) was introduced by C. Miller Fisher and Raymond D. Adams in 1958 to describe a condition characterized by the abrupt onset of dense anterograde amnesia, followed by a return to normal cognition after a number of hours.1 TGA’s underlying pathogenic mechanism remains a matter of debate,2 but transient dysfunction of brain regions deputed to memory, especially the hippocampus, appears to play a central role.2 While TGA is associated with delayed appearance (24–48 hours from symptom onset) of hippocampal lesions on diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) magnetic resonance studies,3 diagnosis remains completely clinical, is based on diagnostic criteria established by Hodges and Warlow in 1990,4,5 and requires either direct observation of transient anterograde amnesia by a clinician or collateral from a capable observer who witnessed the episode.

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