Can amazing sex cause amnesia?
Sex can trigger transient global amnesia, as can other physically strenuous activities. People in their 50s and 60s are the most likely to experience an episode, but strangely, most people with transient global amnesia have it only once. In most cases, the amnesia is anterograde, meaning people have trouble forming new memories. Sometimes, people also experience transient retrograde amnesia, forgetting some portion of their previous memories. In the case of the 54-year-old woman at the Washington, D.C., hospital, the last day was a fog, and she had been forgetful and confused since having sex.
This isn’t common and is rarely anything serious:
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.
“We don’t know very much about the cause,” said Sebastian Ameriso, a neurologist at the Institute for Neurological Research in Buenos Aires, who was not involved in the 54-year-old woman’s case. “It causes a lot of alarm, but this is not a stroke or an event that causes damage to the brain. It’s almost always very benign.”
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