Duration of post-traumatic amnesia is uniquely associated with memory functioning in chronic moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury

Umesh M. Venkatesan, Amanda R. Rabinowitz, Stephanie P. Wolfert, Frank G. Hillary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Disrupted memory circuitry may contribute to post-traumatic amnesia (PTA) after traumatic brain injury (TBI). It is unclear whether duration of PTA (doPTA) uniquely impacts memory functioning in the chronic post-injury stage. OBJECTIVE: To examine the relationship between doPTA and memory functioning, independent of other cognitive abilities, in chronic moderate-to-severe TBI. METHODS: Participants were 82 individuals (median chronicity = 10.5 years) with available doPTA estimates and neuropsychological data. Composite memory, processing speed (PS), and executive functioning (EF) performance scores, as well as data on subjective memory (SM) beliefs, were extracted. DoPTA-memory associations were evaluated via linear modeling of doPTA with memory performance and clinical memory status (impaired/unimpaired), controlling for PS, EF, and demographic covariates. Interrelationships between doPTA, objective memory functioning, and SM were assessed. RESULTS: DoPTA was significantly related to memory performance, even after covariate adjustment. Impairment in memory, but not PS or EF, was associated with a history of longer doPTA. SM was associated with memory performance, but unrelated to doPTA. CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest a specific association between doPTA - an acute injury phenomenon - and chronic memory deficits after TBI. Prospective studies are needed to understand how underlying mechanisms of PTA shape distinct outcome trajectories, particularly functional abilities related to memory processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-233
Number of pages13
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology

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