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Psychosis Following Traumatic Brain Injury

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 April 2013

Rachel A. Batty
Brain and Psychological Sciences Research Centre (BPsyC), Faculty of Life and Social Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne VIC 3122, Australia Cognitive Neuropsychiatry Laboratory, Monash-Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre (MAPrc), The Alfred Hospital and Central Clinical School Monash University, Melbourne, VIC 3004, Australia School of Health Science, Psychology and Disability, RMIT University, Bundoora, VIC 3083, Australia
Susan L. Rossell
Brain and Psychological Sciences Research Centre (BPsyC), Faculty of Life and Social Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne VIC 3122, Australia Cognitive Neuropsychiatry Laboratory, Monash-Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre (MAPrc), The Alfred Hospital and Central Clinical School Monash University, Melbourne, VIC 3004, Australia
Andrew J.P. Francis
School of Health Science, Psychology and Disability, RMIT University, Bundoora, VIC 3083, Australia
Jennie Ponsford
School of Psychology and Psychiatry, Monash University, Clayton, VIC, 3800, Australia Monash-Epworth Rehabilitation Research Centre, Epworth Hospital, Richmond, VIC 3121, Australia


Psychosis following traumatic brain injury (PFTBI) has received modest empirical investigation, and is subsequently poorly understood, identified and treated. The current article reports on consistencies in PFTBI phenomenology according to the existing peer-reviewed literature. The potential for psychotic symptoms post TBI, aetiological propositions, prevalence, significance of onset latency and injury severity, clinical and cognitive neuropsychological presentation and injury localisation/neuroimaging data are reviewed. Substantial methodological limitations associated with the majority of publications informing this work are also discussed. Despite controversies in the literature, psychosis following TBI appears to be three times more prevalent than psychotic disorders in the general population, and comparable in presentation to other idiopathic psychotic spectrum disorders, including schizophrenia.

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