Frequency of DSM-III-R posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was studied
in 47 active-duty service members (46 male, 1 female; mean age 27 = 7) with
moderate traumatic brain injury and neurogenic amnesia for the event.
Patients had attained "oriented and cooperative" recovery level. When
evaluated with a modified Present State Examination and other questions at
various points from study entry to 24-month follow-up, no patients met full
criteria for PTSD or met criterion B (reexperience); 6 (13%) met both C
(avoidance) and D (arousal) criteria. Five of these 6 also had organic mood
disorder, depressed type, and/or organic anxiety disorder. Posttraumatic
amnesia following moderate head injury may protect against recurring
memories and the development of PTSD. Some patients with neurogenic amnesia
may develop a form of PTSD without the reexperiencing symptoms.