Transient global amnesia (TGA) is a temporary memory loss characterized by an abrupt onset of antero-grade and retrograde amnesia, totally reversible. Since sleep plays a major role in memory consolidation, and in the storage of memory-related traces into the brain cortex, the aims of the present study were: (1) to evaluate changes in sleep macro-structure in TGA; (2) to assess modifications in sleep micro-structure in TGA, with particular reference to the arousal EEG and to cyclic alternating pattern (CAP); (3) to compare sleep parameters in TGA patients with a control group of patients with acute ischemic events (“minor stroke” or transient ischemic attack [TIA]) clinically and neuroradiologically “similar” to the TGA.
TGA group: 17 patients, (8 men and 9 women, 60.2 ± 12.5 years). Stroke or TIA (SoT) group: 17 patients hospitalized in the Stroke Unit for recent onset of minor stroke or TIA with hemispheric localization; healthy controls (HC) group: 17 healthy volunteers, matched for age and sex. Patients and controls underwent full-night polysomnography.
In the multivariate analysis (conditions TGA, SoT, and HC) a significant effect of the condition was observed for sleep efficiency index, number of awakenings longer 1 min, REM latency, CAP time, and CAP rate. TGA and SoT differed only for CAP time and CAP rate, which were lower in the TGA group.
Microstructural modification associated with TGA could be consequent to: (1) hippocampal dysfunction and memory impairment; (2) impairment of arousal-related structures (in particular, cholinergic pathways); (3) emotional distress.
Della Marca G; Mazza M; Losurdo A; Testani E; Broccolini A; Frisullo G; Marano G; Morosetti R; Pilato F; Profice P; Vollono C; Di Lazzaro V. Sleep modifications in acute transient global amnesia. J Clin Sleep Med 2013;9(9):921-927.