Case Report - Transient Epileptic Amnesia

A 58-year-old carpet fitter experienced 28 episodes of transient amnesia over 18 months. All occurred upon waking in the night and lasted about 20 minutes. He repetitively questioned his wife, but was responsive and coherent throughout. During one attack he was unable to recall the death of his brother a few days earlier. Routine EEG and MRI were normal. Lamotrigine abolished the attacks but they briefly returned, with associated olfactory hallucinations, during a period of non-compliance, and ceased again when he restarted the medication. At interview, he described rapid forgetting of recently acquired memories, patchy loss of salient autobiographical memories from the past 30 years, such as his wife's abdominal surgery and the wedding of his son, and significant new difficulties navigating around his local area.