We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Post Traumatic Amnesia?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Post traumatic amnesia is difficulty with memory recall and formation associated with traumatic brain injury. Patients experience disorientation and confusion because they may not remember events immediately preceding or following an accident. The more severe the injury, the more serious the post traumatic amnesia, and the level of difficulty with memory can provide information about the patient's prognosis and the kind of recovery to expect.

In retrograde amnesia, people cannot recall memories they have stored; for example, someone in a car accident might not remember getting into the car and going somewhere, and will experience confusion because a chunk of her day is missing. Anterograde amnesia, occurring after the accident, makes it difficult for people to form memories, and thus they have no memories to recall. Our hypothetical car accident victim might not remember interacting with emergency services on the scene, consenting to medical procedures, and being taken to the hospital.

Traumatic brain injuries ranging from mild to severe can cause post traumatic amnesia. The brain is a very delicate organ and it is especially easy to interfere with the processes involved in creating and recalling memories. With a mild injury like a concussion, the subject might appear awake and alert after the injury, but could later have trouble recalling the events the occurred during that time. In severe brain injuries, patients can experience substantial problems for weeks or months in the wake of the injury.

The risk of post traumatic amnesia is a concern any time care providers are working with someone who has a brain injury. Doctors frequently check on patients to see how alert and aware they are, and to determine if they understand where they are and what is happening. Doctors may also reintroduce themselves to patients and repeat information to make sure the patient understands the situation, rather than making assumptions about the patient's abilities. If a patient becomes agitated and combative, doctors may recommend sedation or temporary restraints to avoid further injuries.

For friends and family members, post traumatic amnesia can be challenging to deal with. Patients may forget a variety of things and can have continuing trouble with memory formation. Setting up routines for patients is important, as is being supportive to make sure people feel comfortable asking for hope or requesting clarification. A doctor may also recommend periodic neurological evaluations to check on the patient's progress and determine if strides are being made in recovering old memories or forming new ones.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.