Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Post-traumatic Amnesia

  • Rick ParenteEmail author
  • Grace-Anna Chaney
  • Maria St. Pierre
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1138


Blackout; Forgetting; Memory loss; Senior moment


Post-traumatic amnesia (PTA) refers to a broad class of disorders with multiple etiologies that result in either temporary or permanent total or partial loss of memory (O’Connor and Race 2014).

Historical Background

Post-traumatic amnesia (PTA) results from a variety of causes, for example, from psychiatric stress or from brain damage (O’Connor and Race 2014; Parkin 1987; Simoni et al. 2016). It usually involves confusion, agitation, and limited ability to sustain focus and to form new memories (Simoni et al. 2016).

Psychiatric amnesia results most often from stress or trauma; for example, wartime experiences, violent crimes, or emotional stress are common causes of this type of amnesia (Al-Ozairi et al. 2015). Amnesia resulting from brain damage usually results from either an induced or progressively degenerative disorder (Prasad and Bondy 2015). For example, a head trauma, drug overdose, gunshot wound, or other...

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Further Readings

  1. Al-Ozairi, A., McCullagh, S., & Feinstein, A. (2015). Predicting posttraumatic stress symptoms following mild, moderate, and severe traumatic brain injury: The role of posttraumatic amnesia. The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 30(4), 283–289.  https://doi.org/10.1097/HTR.0000000000000043.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rick Parente
    • 1
    Email author
  • Grace-Anna Chaney
    • 1
  • Maria St. Pierre
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyTowson UniversityTowsonUSA