Listen to this. A 54-year-old woman arrived at a hospital in Washington D.C. in a state of panic because she’d just been intimate with her husband and immediately lost all recollection of the previous 24 hours. I can’t even imagine that can you?
This rare condition is called ‘transient global amnesia’ and it is always temporary. Even though the brain doesn’t suffer any damage it has to be tremendously frightening.
Very little is known about what triggers the condition, though some doctors believe that misfiring valves in the neck may be the cause. Instead of closing shut, they are remaining open to allow pressure in the stomach to push oxygen-poor blood that should be seeping downwards to the heart, back up through the jugular veins and in to the part of the brain that controls memories.
In the majority of cases it takes just a few hours for the memory to return. Exerting yourself in other ways – such as weight-lifting – can also cause transient global amnesia.
Women in their 50’s and 60’s are the ones most likely to experience this. Has it ever happened to you?
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