Irish man turned up at hospital A&E with short-term memory loss brought on by daytime sex with wife

Irish Medical Journal reports on the incident at University Hospital Limerick

Gordon Deegan

A pensioner turned up at a hospital A&E in Ireland with short-term memory loss brought about by daytime sex with his wife.

That is according to a new paper by medics which document how the 66-year-old man suffered from sudden onset amnesia or Transient Global Amnesia (TGA) within 10 minutes of having sex.

It was the second time that the man suffered from sudden onset amnesia within 10 minutes of sexual intercourse.

In the paper in the newly released May edition of the Irish Medical Journal (IMJ), the medics at Department of Neurology at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) state that the case highlights sexual intercourse as a trigger of recurrent Transient Global Amnesia.

Outlining the details, the medics recount how the man endured one hour of amnesia before presenting himself at the hospital A&E.

The medics state that “on the afternoon presentation, he had engaged in sexual intercourse 10 minutes before the onset of memory disturbance”.

They recount that “after seeing the date on his phone, he became distressed that he had forgotten his wedding anniversary the day before.

“He had, in fact, celebrated his wedding anniversary with his wife and family on the previous day. His autobiographical memory remained intact, but he had no memory of that morning or the celebrations the night before.”

It says that “the man repetitively questioned his wife and daughter over the events of that morning and the previous day”.

The paper states that “no other neurological symptoms were reported and upon arrival to the emergency department his neurological examination was completely normal”.

The amnesia episode suffered by the man followed a similar hospital presentation event seven years previous by him and according to the medics that amnesia event also came within 10 minutes of sexual intercourse.

The medics describe that the earlier amnesia event came “with an identical postcoital onset”.

They say the case highlights the importance of early MRI to identify changes in the mescal temporal lobes in the brain.

The paper entitled ‘Recurrent Postcoital Transient Amnesia Associated with Diffusion Restriction’ says that TGA is a syndrome of sudden onset amnesia that can last up to 24 hours.

It says TGA “can present a diagnostic challenge as its mechanism is poorly understood and it has many potential mimics”.

TGA has been linked with several activities including physical exertion, immersion in hot or cold water, emotional stress, pain and sexual intercourse.

It usually occurs in people between 50 and 70 years or age, often in isolation as a once off event, but studies report an annual recurrence rate of between 6pc and 10pc.

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