Definition


Post-concussion syndrome (PCS) is a complex disorder in which various symptoms — such as headaches and dizziness — last for weeks and sometimes months after the injury that caused the concussion.
Concussion is a 'mild' traumatic brain injury, usually occurring after a blow to the head. Loss of consciousness isn't required for a diagnosis of concussion or post-concussion syndrome. In fact, the risk of post-concussion syndrome doesn't appear to be associated with the severity of the initial injury.
In most people, post-concussion syndrome symptoms occur within the first seven to 10 days and go away within three months, though they can persist for a year or more.


Causes


​Some experts believe post-concussion symptoms are caused by structural damage to the brain or disruption of neurotransmitter systems, resulting from the impact that caused the concussion.
Others believe post-concussion symptoms are related to psychological factors, especially since the most common symptoms — headache, dizziness and sleep problems — are similar to those often experienced by people diagnosed with depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In many cases, both physiological effects of brain trauma and emotional reactions to these effects play a role in the development of symptoms.
Researchers haven't determined why some people who've had concussions develop persistent post-concussion symptoms while others do not. No proven correlation between the severity of the injury and the likelihood of developing persistent post-concussion symptoms exists.


Symptoms


PCS may include a cluster of physical and cognitive symptoms that sometimes occur after minor head injury. These include;

  1. Dizziness
  2. Poor Memory and Concentration
  3. Headache
  4. Fatigue
  5. Sleep Disturbance
  6. Light sensitivity
  7. Tinnitus
  8. Neck Pain
  9. Irritability


Chronic Symptoms


  1. ​Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), describes a collection of psychological symptoms such as frequent re-experiencing of the event, nightmares, being excessively vigilant or jumpy and feeling anxious. After a severe traumatic event some of these symptoms may be normal for a while but if they persist or get worse it may be worth discussing with your doctor as there are specific treatments​.
  2. Anxiety or Depression. Having a head injury and symptoms afterwards can lead to anxiety and depression, especially if you have been off work. It's always worth remembering that fatigue, sleep disturbance and poor memory and concentration can be part of either anxiety and depression. It may be worth discussing with your doctor.


Our Research Findings


See page 'miRNA'.

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