The Journal of Headache and Pain

"European Headache Federation" and of "Lifting The Burden - The Global Campaign against Headache"

The Journal of Headache and Pain Cover Image
Open Access

Transient global amnesia occurring as migraine aura

  • Pasquale Montagna,
  • Angelina Cerullo and
  • Pietero Cortelli
The Journal of Headache and PainOfficial Journal of the Italian Society for the Study of Headaches1:00010057.10194


We describe a case of transient global amnesia (TGA) occurring as migraine aura. TGA prevalence is higher among migraineurs and has been ascribed to spreading depression in the hippocampus. Our patient, a 38-year-old physician, developed migraine without aura in early adolescence and from age 20 years, had experienced rare attacks of migraine with aura,. At ages 36 and 38 years, he suffered two attacks of sudden-onset anterograde amnesia, which lasted 5 hours and were immediately followed by unilateral right-sided pounding headaches. Ictal neurological examination was normal except for fixation amnesia. Interictal brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and neurological examination were normal. Thus, in our patient affected with migraine with and without aura, TGA occurred as the aura phase of two migraine attacks. Our case report suggests that TGA shares common mechanisms with migraine.

Key words Transient global amnesiaMigraineAura