Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Transient Global Amnesia

Not that I have it at the moment - I don't. My schedule got a little skewed this week because of the swap that I made. I got out at 7:00 yesterday morning and didn't quite know what to do with myself. I ended up sleeping until almost 2:30 yesteday afternoon and before I knew it I was back in bed at right around 10:00. I guess sleep deprivation will do that to you.

My wife if dealing with the bad air quality we've been having. As I mentioned in a previous post, she has asthma, and the pollen plus the high humidity has really affected her ability to breathe properly. She is seeing our doc today, and I suspect she will have a chest X-ray taken on her. Between Albuterol and Prednisone, she's been a little on the jumpy side over the past two days. I'm just hoping that she can be helped a little more so that she can breathe normally.

It sucks to watch someone not be able to breathe as well as they should.

As far as the title is concerned..... We went on a call Sunday afternoon for what was dispatched as a psychiatric problem. When we arrived on scene, we found this 65 year-old male outside of his house, standing with his wife and 2 Manchester police officers. We started to ask questions as to what was going on. The patient's wife told us that he had made a trip to the store earlier in the day, and after that she noticed that his short-term memory started to have gaps. What she was getting from his was that he would ask questions about subjects that they'd talked about within 15 or 20 minutes of him asking. He responded that his short-term memory had always been like that, but she was pretty firm that it hadn't; she told us, in fact, that he always had extremely good short-term (and long-term) memory. On top of that, he was pretty agitated that she had called for help; for nearly an hour prior to our arrival she had tried numerous ways to persuade him to go with her to the Emergency Room to be evaluated. No dice.

The police left soon after we arrived, and with all of our persuading we were on scene with him for nearly an hour. During this whole evolution we watched his lapses happen over and over again; he'd asked us numerous times why we were there and why we wanted him to go. Finally, we were able to persuade him with a second visit from police, which he was not at all happy about. Even though he didn't remember them being there initially, he didn't want to see them that time, and he agreed to go.

We hung out for a little bit after we got him into the ED just to see if we could get a handle on what was going on. We thought he either had a systemic infection of some sort or it was neurological. Turns out that he likely had a TIA, and with it an episode of Transient Global Amnesia. It got him a bed for observation and further testing, I suspect.

I am working in Goffstown tonight - errands and laundry are up next. I wanted to share that experience, though. And I am still chewing on it.....


Fran said...

TGA can also be caused by statin (cholesterol lowering) drugs. There are numerous documented cases. My husband experienced several episodes when his Lipitor was increased from 10 mg to 20 mg. We discovered the link when I read Dr Duane Graveline's book, "Lipitor - Thief of Memory and the Misguided War on Cholesterol".


manchmedic said...


I didn't know that. I take Simvastatin myself - started it about a month ago. Right now I'm taking 40mg Q.D., and I've noticed some occasional problems with short-term memory ever since. I wonder if that is related to statin usage...? I can't take Lipitor because I'm prone to the myalgia side effect, so my doc cut me off of it.

Interesting. Thanks!

NH Mind said...

manchmedic, your blog is an enjoyable read..just came across it today. Was on Lipitor for almost 5 years before just recently switching to Vytorin, a combo drug, as I had plateaued on Lipitor and the higher doses were messing with my liver. Vytorin working really well. Never heard of TGA or any other memory loss as a side effect and don't recall my doc advising me of that particular risk (if it is "officially considered one)...I'll be seeing him in July and will have to ask about that one.

manchmedic said...

NH mind, thanks for the comment!

My doc would like very much to put my on Vytorin, and I would like to use it, but my health insurance won't cover the cost. So for at least the next 150 or so days I'll be on the Simvastatin until I get back either bad cholesterol numbers or elevated liver enzymes because of the dosage. We'll see.

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