Consciousness and amnesia after penetrating head injury: Neurology and anatomy

Andres M. Salazar*, Jordan H. Grafman, Stephen C. Vance, Herb Weingartner, J. D. Dillon, Christy Ludlow

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Among 342 men who survived severe penetrating brain wounds, only 15% had prolonged unconsciousness and 53% had no or momentary unconsciousness after injury, emphasizing the focal nature of these wounds. The left (or language dominant) hemisphere was dominant for the “wakefulness” component of consciousness. The areas most associated with unconsciousness included the posterior limb of the left internal capsule, left basal forebrain, midbrain, and hypothalamus. Left dominance was not seen for posttraumatic amnesia after elimination of the wakefulness variable, suggesting that wakefulness may be linked to the role of the left hemisphere in verbal memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-187
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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