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A study of the risk factors in transient global amnesia and its differentiation from a transient ischemic attack
INTRODUCTION. Transient global amnesia (TGA) is a clinical condition that has been described in many studies, but its pathophysiology is not fully understood. In recent years the theory of valvular insufficiency in the jugular vein has been added to the classical hypotheses that link it to migraine, to epilepsy and –the most widely accepted– to transient ischemic attacks (TIA), although the real origin of the condition has still not been determined.
PATIENTS AND METHODS. In a retrospective study we compared 131 patients diagnosed with TGA between 1993 and 2004 with 262 patients who were diagnosed as having TIA over the same period.
RESULTS. Mean age was 65.94 years in TGA versus 71.11 years in the case of TIA. There was a higher rate of arterial hypertension among the patients with TGA and diabetes mellitus was more frequent among those with TIA (p < 0.05 in both cases). Emboligenic heart disease was scarce among patients with TGA. The number of patients with a history of ischaemic heart disease and a history and the development of cerebrovascular diseases was greater among those with TIA than in cases of TGA (p < 0.05). The TGA recurrence rate was 12%. The percentage of pathological findings in the CAT brain scan was higher in patients with TIA (p < 0.05). There are no significant differences between patients with TGA and TIA as far as treatment on hospital discharge is concerned.