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Transient epileptic amnesia

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Patients with transient epileptic amnesia (TEA) present with a combination of anterograde and retrograde amnesia, confusion and repeated questioning which is similar to transient global amnesia (TGA) (1).

Patients with TEA:

  • are more often male than female
  • are usually more than 60 yr old
  • have a history of cardiovascular disease in half of cases
  • have a high recurrence rate (2):
    • 3 attacks per year for TEA
    • contrast this with a 3% annual recurrence for TGA
  • have patchy anterograde amnesia such that they may retrospectively recognise the attacks

The amnestic attack respond to standard anti-epileptic therapy.


  • 1) Corridan, BJ, et al. (2001). A case of sleeping and forgetting. BMJ 357, 524.
  • 2) Zenman, A, Hodges, JR. (2000). In: Berrios, G, Hodges, JR eds. Memory disorders in psychiatric practice. Camb Univ Press. p187-203.

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