Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

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

Post-traumatic Confusional State

  • Beth RushEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_271


Posttraumatic confusion


A transient period of globally disturbed attention in a patient with traumatic brain injury, immediately following the onset of injury. Posttraumatic confusional state, or PTC, was introduced by Stuss et al. (1999). The PTC concept emerged following research that demonstrated that the initial cognitive and behavioral symptoms after traumatic brain injury were not solely limited to disturbances of orientation and amnesia, as the construct of posttraumatic amnesia (PTA) suggests.

Current Knowledge

Stuss et al. (1999) introduced the construct of PTC as an alternative and perhaps more accurate reflection of early behavioral and cognitive symptoms in brain injury than PTA, as all patients with traumatic brain injury may not experience significant PTA. PTC is thought to be similar to delirium in that it presents immediately following the onset of traumatic brain injury and may remain for an undefined period of time. There are still controversies...

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References and Readings

  1. Nakase-Richardson, R., Yablon, S. A., & Sherer, M. (2007). Prospective comparison of acute confusion severity with duration of post-traumatic amnesia in predicting employment outcome after traumatic brain injury. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, & Psychiatry, 78, 872–876.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Sherer, M., Nakase-Thompson, R., Yablon, S. A., & Gontkovsky, S. T. (2005). Multidimensional assessment of acute confusion after TBI. Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 86, 896–904.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Sherer, M., Yablon, S. A., & Nakase-Richardson, R. (2009). Patterns of recovery of posttraumatic confusional state in neurorehabilitation admissions after traumatic brain injury. Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 90(10), 1749–1754.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Sherer, M., Yablon, S. A., & Nick, T. G. (2014). Psychotic symptoms as manifestations of the posttraumatic confusional state: Prevalence, risk factors, and association with outcome. The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 29(2), E11–E18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Silva, M. A., Nakase-Richardson, R., Sherer, M., Barnett, S. D., Evans, C. C., & Yablon, S. A. (2012). Posttraumatic confusion predicts patient cooperation during traumatic brain injury rehabilitation. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 91, 890–893.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Stuss, D. T., Binns, M. A., Carruth, F. G., Levine, B., Brandys, C. E., Moulton, R. J., Snow, W. G., & Schwartz, M. L. (1999). The acute period of recovery from traumatic brain injury: Posttraumatic amnesia or posttraumatic confusional state? Journal of Neurosurgery, 90, 635–643.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychiatry and PsychologyMayo ClinicJacksonvilleUSA