Really Good Sex Can Erase Memory
Many people already think of sex as unforgettable or completely mind blowing, but how many people would also think sex could give you amnesia? According to a new study in The Journal of Emergency Medicine, researchers found several people who reported amnesia shortly after having sex.
One woman, who was 54, showed up at a Georgetown University Hospital reporting failure to remember certain parts of the last two days. One thing she did remember is that she had sex with her husband an hour before, and after that, she started losing her memory. According to the doctors who treated her, she was experiencing transient global amnesia, a rare form of amnesia in which memory suddenly, but only temporarily, disappears.
People who have transient global amnesia lose their memory only for a short period of time, sometimes as few as a two or three hours, and then slowly begin to get it back. Only 3 to 5 people out of every 100,000 people experience the condition each year.
The weirdest thing about transient global amnesia is that no one has yet figured out what, exactly, causes it.
"We don't know very much about the cause," said Sebastian Ameriso, a neurologist at the Institute for Neurological Research in Buenos Aires who was interviewed about transient global amnesia but was not involved in the 54-year-old woman's case. "It causes a lot of alarm, but this is not a stroke or an event that causes damage to the brain. It's almost always very benign."
The closest researchers have come to explaining this sex-triggered amnesia is that the problem may not be with the brain, but can be found in the neck instead. In a January 2010 study Ameriso and his colleagues did sonograms on the necks of 142 amnesiacs who’d had their transient global amnesia within the last week. After the imaging, they discovered 80 percent of the amnesiacs had insufficiency of the valves in the jugular vein.
The vein in question runs blood to the brain, and if it were damaged in some way or working inefficiently it could be cause for the transient retrograde amnesia.
The best explanation scientists could come up with for the amnesia is that while having sex, the body releases pressure in the abdomen, with a move called the valsalva maneuver, which people perform with playing sports, having sex or even defecating. Ameriso said it would not explain why the amnesia happens only one time while the body is performing this maneuver several times throughout the day.
Ameriso said a quick diagnosis would be good for these patients because otherwise they could be in the hospital for days waiting on unnecessary tests.
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