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Jeff Probst reveals he’s been diagnosed with transient global amnesia

Jeff Probst visits People Now on Feb. 3, 2020 in New York City.
Jeff Probst visits People Now on Feb. 3, 2020 in New York City. Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Survivor host Jeff Probst has opened up about a recent health scare involving his memory.

During an appearance on Live With Kelly and Ryan, Probst revealed he had “a really weird thing” happen with his health.

“I was booking travel for my wife and I to go to Vegas, and it gets to your wife’s birth date and I went: ‘What is my wife’s birthday?'” Probst said. “I couldn’t figure it out, so I texted my wife and said can you call me.”

READ MORE: ‘Survivor’ finale: Jeff Probst apologizes, says the show will do better

She asked him what was happening, and he said: “I don’t know. I don’t really know what’s happening. I don’t know anything. Where are the kids?”

Probst said his wife told him the kids were at school and she was at work.

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“I said, ‘Something is wrong,'” Probst shared.

“That sounds like you’re just a man,” Kelly Ripa said, making a joke about the fact he forgot his wife’s birthday. “So far this sounds normal. And then what happened?”

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The 58-year-old TV host explained that for two hours after the phone call he had “zero recollection” of anything that was happening to him.

“I had no idea who I was, where I was,” Probst said on Wednesday. “I even wrote a note … on my laptop, I wrote a note that said: ‘For our records, I have no idea why I’m wearing these clothes. I have no idea where our kids are. I have no idea what day it is. I have no idea why I’m writing this.'”

He said that later, he read the note back and “had no memory of writing it.”

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Probst went to see a neurosurgeon the next morning, who told him he had transient global amnesia (TGA), which is a sudden episode of temporary memory loss.

During an episode of TGA, a person’s recall of recent events simply vanishes, so they are unable to remember where they are or how they got there, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The condition most often affects people in middle or older age, and during recovery, they may slowly begin to remember events and circumstances.

The Mayo Clinic notes that symptoms include sudden onset of memory loss, verified by a witness, retention of personal identity despite memory loss and normal cognition, such as the ability to recognize and name familiar objects and follow simple directions.

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The underlying cause of TGA is currently unknown, but there is a link between TGA and a history of migraines.

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Probst revealed that he had an MRI done, but right before he did it, his memory came back.

“It was like that quickly,” Probst said as he snapped his fingers. “I went, ‘Oh wow, I’m back.'”

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He said he was worried he was suffering from early onset dementia.

“And now I, more than ever, I live for Fridays,” Probst said to Ripa and Ryan Seacrest. “I think of the weekend and I’m like, ‘I got one more weekend, let’s go!'”

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Probst said he’s “100 per cent” fine now.

The Mayo Clinic notes that there’s “no real way to prevent the condition” and the rate of recurrence is low.