Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in patients with traumatic brain injury

Glaesser J, Neuner F, Lütgehetmann R, Schmidt R, Elbert T (2004)
BMC psychiatry 4(1): 5.

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BACKGROUND: Severe traumatic stressors such as war, rape, or life-threatening accidents can result in a debilitating psychopathological development conceptualised as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Pathological memory formation during an alarm response may set the precondition for PTSD to occur. If true, a lack of memory formation by extended unconsciousness in the course of the traumatic experience should preclude PTSD. METHODS: 46 patients from a neurological rehabilitation clinic were examined by means of questionnaires and structured clinical interviews. All patients had suffered a TBI due to an accident, but varied with respect to falling unconscious during the traumatic event. RESULTS: 27% of the sub-sample who were not unconscious for an extended period but only 3% (1 of 31 patients) who were unconscious for more than 12 hours as a result of the accident were diagnosed as having current PTSD (P <.02). Furthermore, intrusive memories proved to be far more frequent in patients who had not been unconscious. This was also the case for other re-experiencing symptoms and for psychological distress and physiological reactivity to reminders of the traumatic event. CONCLUSION: TBI and PTSD are not mutually exclusive. However, victims of accidents are unlikely to develop a PTSD if the impact to the head had resulted in an extended period of unconsciousness.
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Glaesser J, Neuner F, Lütgehetmann R, Schmidt R, Elbert T. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in patients with traumatic brain injury. BMC psychiatry. 2004;4(1):5.
Glaesser, J., Neuner, F., Lütgehetmann, R., Schmidt, R., & Elbert, T. (2004). Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in patients with traumatic brain injury. BMC psychiatry, 4(1), 5. doi:10.1186/1471-244X-4-5
Glaesser, J., Neuner, F., Lütgehetmann, R., Schmidt, R., and Elbert, T. (2004). Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in patients with traumatic brain injury. BMC psychiatry 4, 5.
Glaesser, J., et al., 2004. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in patients with traumatic brain injury. BMC psychiatry, 4(1), p 5.
J. Glaesser, et al., “Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in patients with traumatic brain injury”, BMC psychiatry, vol. 4, 2004, pp. 5.
Glaesser, J., Neuner, F., Lütgehetmann, R., Schmidt, R., Elbert, T.: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in patients with traumatic brain injury. BMC psychiatry. 4, 5 (2004).
Glaesser, Judith, Neuner, Frank, Lütgehetmann, Ralph, Schmidt, Roger, and Elbert, Thomas. “Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in patients with traumatic brain injury”. BMC psychiatry 4.1 (2004): 5.
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