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Mind-Blowing Sex? Amnesia Could Be Caused By Sex, New Report Suggests

Sex Induced Amnesia

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 10/12/11 11:37 AM ET Updated: 12/12/11 05:12 AM ET

A 54-year-old woman must have had the best sex ever.

In fact, doctors at Georgetown University Hospital believe it resulted in short-term global amnesia. LiveScience states that the case, reported in the September issue of The Journal of Emergency Medicine, actually isn't unheard of, though global amnesia is incredibly rare.

However, it seems scientists don't know if sex truly is at the root of the condition, but it may be an uncomfortable position that is really causing all the fuss.

From The Daily:

Her memory got hazy, she said, just after sex with her husband. Researchers know very little about transient global amnesia and they can only guess at its causes, one of which they suspect is sex. Their best guess is that the amnesia is triggered by Valsalva maneuver, which causes oxygen-poor blood to gather in the neck.

Thankfully, the condition only affects 3 to 5 people per 100,000 each year, according to LiveScience. The scary thing, however, is that scientists have no idea how people seem to remain awake and active while large chunks of memory go missing.

This type of amnesia seems to differ greatly from traumatically induced amnesia, and effects seem to disappear after a few hours. However, this short-term condition also seems much different from dissociative amnesia, a mental condition that erases large periods of time and is often caused by traumatic events, according to WebMD.

This short-term amnesia seems to be in a class of its own.

LiveScience explains more about the Valsalva manuever:

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.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated that the amnesiac was a patient at George Washington University Hospital; she was treated at Georgetown University Hospital.
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