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Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: Temporary Memory Loss


 liquidace10 - Mon May 18, 2009 12:47 pm

A couple of months ago I had what was diagnosed as tempory dementia. I suffered a loss of memory for several hours and was constantly talking gibberish. I was taken to the hospital for tests which were inconclusive. I was sent to see the hospital psychologist and after I mentioned that I smoked a little pot he assumed that was the cause. I hadn't smoked in three days and felt the real reason for the event was due to receiving an e-mail from my estranged daughter indicating she didn't want to see or speak to me ever again and a text from my son telling me that he couldn't share accommodations with me. I had planned to move in with him although it meant a move of over 1500 miles. I move in with my mother 2 years ago due to her developing liver cancer. Her disease hasn't progressed as doctor's thought it might but she is 83 and is losing some of her motor skills and physical abilities and needs care although she doesn't agree and wants to be alone. I visited my MD and his diagnosis followed that of the emergency doctors. He sent me for a stress test which showed a strong heart althought the doctor questioned why my MD hadn't sent me for an ultrasound to check the veins/arteries going from my heart to my brain. A sinilar event occurred this past Saturday while I was talking to a friend on the phone with the same results of memory loss and gibberish. I didn't go to the hospital this time as I was home alone and thought I was OK.
Should I be concerned and what action should I take.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:21 pm

User avatar Hello --

Symptoms such as you describe are certainly cause for a healthy concern, especially when the onset is sudden and the interlude is brief. This would be fairly typical of a transient ischemic attack (TIA), often precursor to a stroke, and your MD is absolutely correct that an ultrasound (US) study of the carotid arteries for possible narrowing should have been done and would normally be a routine test following such an episode. What doesn't add up is if your MD knows this, why did he send you for a stress test and not order the ultrasound of the arteries of the neck? I find that almost as odd as the ER having you seen by a psychologist but not ordering the ultrasound study. This is all very strange.

I doubt very seriously your pot smoking had anything to do with your two episodes, although it may be wise to avoid any sort of smoking at least until the problem has been diagnosed correctly and treated, since it can only make the problem worse (any sort of smoking).

I think the appropriate next step would be for you to have a consult with neurologist to try and determine what may have caused the two episodes (and "temporary dementia" is not a recognized condition, by the way). You haven't gotten the most competent care so far, and it is puzzling.

Hope this is helpful. Good luck to you and please do follow up with us here as necessary.

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