Posted by: Paul | 2009/02/17

Sudden lapses of memory

My Wife had a mild escimic (pardon the spelling) attack about three years ago. Lately she has been getting these sudden bouts of total memory loss at arbitrary times of day. She, for instance, was sitting moments ago doing beadwork and while I was in the room suddenly looked up, sat back and with wide eyes stared at me. This made me ask her what was wrong to which I didn' t get any answer. Then she said her stomach is turning and dashed off to the loo. When she came back, she couldn' t remember what she was doing or what had happened the whole day. She walked around and saw that I had a ladder out and asked me why it was here. I told her that I was working on the roof and that she helped me earlier. She didn' t know anything about it and also couldn' t remember any recent happenings. What makes it strange is that she can remember things that happened a few days ago but the moments that are now is lost. It takes a while for it to pass and she would then eventually get things in order and remember again what was seemingly lost.

During the last three years or so she has had about 5 such bouts but the latest two happened an hour ago and previous to that about a month ago. She is in general good health and is 42 years old. Can you help me with this?

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Our expert says:
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Dear Paul
It sounds as if she has bouts of short term memory loss. It can be a side effect of the previous ischemic attack but may also be caused by "mini-strokes" or other problems in the brain. I really think she needs to see a neurologist -it may be necessary to do a brain scan to see if she needs medication to prevent a full blown stroke in future.
Dr Bets

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