Transient global amnesia: a complication of incremental exercise testing

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Transient global amnesia: a complication of incremental exercise testing. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 30, No. 10(Suppl.), pp S403-S405, 1998. Incremental exercise testing is routinely used for diagnosis, rehabilitation, health screening, and research. We report the case of a 71-yr-old patient with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who suffered an episode of transient global amnesia (TGA) several minutes after successfully completing an incremental exercise test on a cycle ergometer. TGA, which is known to be precipitated by physical or emotional stress in about one-third of cases, is a transient neurological disorder in which memory impairment is the prominent deficit. TGA has a benign course and requires no treatment although 24-h observation is recommended. Recognition of TGA as a potential complication of incremental graded exercise testing is important to both aid diagnosis of the amnesia and to spare a patient unnecessary evaluation.

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