What is posttraumatic amnesia (PTA) in postconcussive syndrome (PCS)?

Updated: Jul 25, 2019
  • Author: Roy H Lubit, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Answer

Posttraumatic amnesia (PTA) and delirium describe the mental states of patients immediately following closed head injury or after awakening from coma. The amnesia or delirium may persist for hours to weeks or, occasionally, months. Patients with PTA are alert and capable of complex behavior. However, they experience severe memory problems, feelings of confusion, inability to learn new information, and poor concentration. PTA sometimes involves peculiar alterations of consciousness and self-awareness. As a measure of injury severity, the duration of PTA has prognostic significance.


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