Subjective premorbid memory in posttraumatic stress disorder

Florentine Larbig*, Lena Jelinek, Michael Kellner, Karl Heinz Biesold, Klaus Barre, Steffen Moritz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: It is unclear whether memory deficits found in patients with PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) precede the traumatic event and may thus represent a vulnerability factor or a consequence of the trauma. Objective: The aim of this study was to shed light on this question. Method: A newly developed neurocognitive interview to estimate premorbid memory performance was administered along with an objective memory test on 21 PTSD patients and 21 healthy controls. Possible confounds, such as comorbid depressive symptoms and social desirability, were considered. Results: PTSD patients and controls did not exhibit significant differences on estimated premorbid memory. The majority of the PTSD patients (73%) reported a decline of memory performance following the traumatic event that was associated with objective memory impairment. Conclusion: The findings suggest that memory deficits in PTSD emerge after and not before the trauma. Further research with larger sample sizes and prospective studies are warranted to substantiate our results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-152
Number of pages4
JournalGerman Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognition
  • Neuropsychology
  • Premorbid memory
  • PTSD
  • Trauma

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