In a bizarre incident, a 66-year-old Irish man was rushed to a hospital with short-term amnesia after having sex with his wife.
The anomalous case was analysed in the May issue of the Irish Medical Journal, published Wednesday, and doctors explained that gender was the trigger for short-term amnesia-formally known as Transient Global Amnesia (TGA).
The Mayo Clinic defines TGA as “an episode of sudden transient global amnesia that is not caused by more common neuropathy such as epilepsy or stroke”.
In the case of this Irish man, the medical journal reported that he lost his short-term memory ‘within 10 minutes of sexual intercourse.
After their sexual intercourse, the man took notice of the date on his mobile phone and he ‘suddenly turned distressed that he had forgotten his wedding anniversary the day before.’ Although the man had celebrated the special occasion the previous evening, he had no clue about it.
“He repetitively questioned his wife and daughter over the events of that morning and the previous day,” according to the journal.
A rare condition like this usually affects people between the ages of 50 and 70 and has the ability to “just disappear” from recent events. Some people who are experiencing TGA may not remember what happened a year ago. Affected people usually regain their memory within a few hours.
In this case, the subject’s long-term memory was not compromised, and was able to provide his name, age, and other basic background information.
The man had previously experienced TGA in 2015, and this incident also occurred shortly after having sex. Thankfully, he later regained his short-term memory.
Realizing that he may be suffering from another TGA episode, the man went to a local emergency room. There he was found by neurological examination to be “completely normal”. After a while, his memory returned.
The author of an article in the Irish Medical Journal, who works in the Department of Neurology at University Hospital Limerick, said that up to 10 per cent of people with TGA have another episode. The authors additionally added that “precipitation of TGA has been linked with several activities including physical activity, immersion in cold or hot water, emotional stress, pain and sexual intercourse.”
Talking about TGA in 2009, one expert said, “It’s not enough of a stimulus or deprivation that it permanently injures the brain. The brain recovers. There should be no deficit other than memory and it should be brief.”
The incident is horrifying to the affected people and their loved ones, but the TGA is not considered much serious.