BMJ Case Reports 2017; doi:10.1136/bcr-2017-221431
  • Unexpected outcome (positive or negative) including adverse drug reactions

Transient global amnesia following a whole-body cryotherapy session

  1. Daniel Genné
  1. Spitalzentrum Biel AG, Biel, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to Professor Daniel Genné, Daniel.genne{at}
  • Accepted 26 September 2017
  • Published 13 October 2017


Whole-body cryotherapy (WBC), which consists of a short exposure to very cold and dry air in special ‘cryo-chambers’, is believed to reduce inflammation and musculoskeletal pain as well as improve athletes’ recovery. This is the case of a 63-year-old male, who presented with transient global amnesia (TGA) after undertaking a WBC session. TGA is a clinical syndrome characterised by a sudden onset of anterograde amnesia, sometimes coupled with a retrograde component, lasting up to 24 hours without other neurological deficits. Even though the patient completely recovered, as expected, in 24 hours, this case highlights that WBC is potentially not as risk free as thought to be initially. To conclude, before WBC can be medically recommended, well-conducted studies investigating the possible adverse events are required.


  • Twitter @CarrardJustin

  • Contributors JC met the patient, collected the data and wrote the paper under the supervision of two of his chiefs, DG and ACL. Both of them corrected and improved the paper itself.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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