A young man was admitted to an urban general hospital psychiatric unit after being brought from a local shopping mall unable to remember his name or any other personal information. He was alert and oriented and demonstrated no cognitive impairment. He agreed to an amobarbital interview and agreed to letting local news media display his picture in hopes that someone would recognize him. The amobarbital interview yielded information allowing identification of the individual, with the help of the news media. News media coverage also led to the discovery that the individual was wanted for a violent crime in another state and that the amnesia apparently set in after his commission of that crime. Implications for diagnosis and management of amnesia are discussed.
Skale, MD, Tracey G. and Hillard, MD, James Randolph
"Psychogenic Amnesia: A Case Involving Amobarbital Interview and the News Media,"
Jefferson Journal of Psychiatry:
2, Article 4.
Available at: http://jdc.jefferson.edu/jeffjpsychiatry/vol11/iss2/4