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April 1, 1911


Author Affiliations

Junior Physician, Government Hospital for the Insane WASHINGTON, D. C.

JAMA. 1911;LVI(13):943-948. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.02560130007003

Various authors have attempted to establish a distinct clinical entity which could be termed traumatic psychosis, but a review of the cases reported in the literature shows that as yet we have not succeeded in attributing a distinct symptom-complex to this form of mental disorder. The only justification for grouping these cases under the heading of traumatic psychoses is their common etiologic factor, namely, trauma to the head. The degree and kind of injury are factors of some importance, and, as a general rule, only those injuries which produce an extensive, diffuse shaking up or shattering of the brain tissue, such as occurs in concussions or those which produce extensive pressure on the brain, will be followed by mental disturbances. A well-localized and circumscribed trauma to the brain is rarely followed by psychotic manifestations.

The general symptomatology of these cases varies greatly both in the time of occurrence and in