Traumatic mutism in severe head injury relieved by oral diazepam

Disabil Rehabil. 1996 Sep;18(9):482-4. doi: 10.3109/09638289609165913.


A 34-year-old woman with a severe closed-head injury had many impairments including apparent global aphasia. After a diazepam premedication for a motor point block she was heard to speak a few words. A trial of oral diazepam succeeded in restoring speech adequate to make her needs known, which persisted on a maintenance dose of 5 mg t.d.s. The possible diagnoses and reasons for this phenomenon are discussed. We suggest that diazepam may be useful in assessing speech in selected people with severe head injuries.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Injuries / complications*
  • Diazepam / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Muscle Relaxants, Central / therapeutic use*
  • Mutism / drug therapy*
  • Mutism / etiology


  • Muscle Relaxants, Central
  • Diazepam