Can Something Mind-Blowing Give You Amnesia?


The brain is such a mystery...

(Live Science) ‘Mind-Blowing’ Sex Can Wipe Memory Clean

Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer Date: 11 October 2011 Time: 10:42 AM ET

A 54-year-old woman showed up in the emergency room at Georgetown University Hospital with her husband, unable to remember the past 24 hours. Her newer memories were hazy, too. One thing she did recall: Her amnesia had started right after having sex with her husband just an hour before.

While sex can be forgettable or mind-blowing, for some people, it can quite literally be both at the same time. The woman, whose case was reported in the September issue of The Journal of Emergency Medicine, was experiencing transient global amnesia, a rare condition in which memory suddenly, temporarily, disappears.

People with transient global amnesia suffer no side effects, and the memory problems usually reverse themselves in the span of a few hours. It’s a rare condition, affecting only about 3 to 5 people per 100,000 each year. But what makes transient global amnesia so eerie is that researchers aren’t sure what causes it, or why patients remain otherwise chatty and alert while missing large chunks of their memories. [Inside the Brain: A Journey Through Time]

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