According to a case study in the September issue of the Journal of Emergency Medicine, a husband was so good at pleasuring his 54-year-old wife, she temporarily couldn't remember the previous 24 hours—a condition called transient global amnesia.
People with transient global amnesia suffer no side effects, and the memory problems usually reverse themselves in the span of a few hours. It's a rare condition, affecting only about 3 to 5 people per 100,000 each year. But what makes transient global amnesia so eerie is that researchers aren't sure what causes it, or why patients remain otherwise chatty and alert while missing large chunks of their memories.
Sex and "other strenuous activities" can trigger TGA. It's most likely to happen to people in their 50s and 60s, whom it most often affects just once. Tests revealed nothing unusual for the woman in the case study, whose symptoms began to subside by the time she left the emergency room.
There is a theory as to the cause:
The best guess for what might be happening is that patients unwittingly trigger the transient global amnesia by raising the pressure inside their abdomens. This is called the "Valsalva maneuver," familiar as the "bearing down" people might do when lifting weights, defecating or even having sex. The increased pressure increases the resistance to blood flowing down the jugular veins, and insufficient valves may allow deoxygenated blood to push back up the neck. Oxygen-poor blood then "piles up" in the veins draining the brain, especially in central brain regions that are key to memory formation. The result could be transient amnesia.
According to the report, the condition affected a man in 1964 at the moment of orgasm. He immediately was said to exclaim, "Where am I? What's happened?" Which basically means TGA will now be blamed any time someone forgets his or her partner's name during sex. After all, it's science.
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