Transient global amnesia (TGA) is a mysterious syndrome causing a relatively brief inability to form new memories. Winbeck et al found a significant incidence (10/28) of acute DWI changes in patients with TGA, which is comparable to the TIA group (21/74). Although the patients who presented with a TIA had a higher prevalence of vascular risk factors, those in the TGA group (who had DWI changes) were found to have significantly more carotid atherosclerosis.
The incidence has been estimated 7.3 per 100,000 per annum. The effects of drugs must be considered. For instance, sedative-hypnotic medications, either over-the-counter or prescribed for sleep (especially if used in conjunction with a transoceanic flight), or premedication with midazolam for medical procedures, may cause similar symptoms. Excessive alcohol can cause a blackout phenomenon. Hence, any history of drug-related amnesia may help clarify mitigating causes