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TRANSIENT GLOBAL AMNESIA

Abstract

Thorsten Bartsch MD. Currently, I am a board-certified Cognitive Neurologist and Consultant at the Department of Neurology of the University Hospital Schleswig Holstein in Kiel and Professor for Memory Disorders and Plasticity at the University of Kiel. I was initially trained in Physiology (1993–1998) before pursuing my clinical training in Neurology (1998–2007). Additionally training was in emergency medicine, pain therapy, clinical neurophysiology (EEG, EP, EMG, ENG), neurological ultrasound, geriatrics.

My area of clinical expertise is memory disorders, in particular hippocampal dysfunction, dementias, imaging, neurophysiology, aging, neurophysiology, brain stimulation. My research interests include the hippocampus and memory disorders (physiology, pathophysiology, neurophysiology and imaging) as well as cortical plasticity. From 2000–2002, I worked as a fellow at the Institute of Neurology and the National Hospital at Queen Square.

More than 50 years after its initial description, transient global amnesia (TGA) remains one of the most enigmatic syndromes in clinical neurology and neuropsychiatry. A TGA is characterized by an abrupt onset of an anterograde and retrograde amnesia that lasts up to 24 h. In the recent years, clinical and neuropsychological facets of this syndrome have been characterised and putative pathophysiological factors, such as migraine-related mechanisms, stress-related mechanisms, focal ischemia, venous flow abnormalities, and epileptic phenomena, have been studied. Recent MRI data suggest that a transient perturbation of hippocampal function is the functional correlate of TGA as an acute affection of the hippocampus can be detected in MR-imaging – however, the factors triggering the emergence of these lesions are still elusive. In this talk, I will discuss clinical aspects, new imaging findings, and recent neuropsychological data with regard to the phenotype and functional anatomy of TGA.

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