Persistent Post-Concussion Syndrome

A Manifestation of Post-Concussion Syndrome and its Enduring Presentation

A concussion is a closed head injury that is all too common in today’s world. In the US, it is estimated that there are 1.5 million sports/recreational related concussions occurring annually. While the majority of these injuries are relatively short in duration (days to weeks), a significant smaller percentage of people (7-8 %, Binder) (10-25%, Richardson), will continue to have symptoms.

It is a clinical fact that all concussion injuries are unique for each individual. However, clinical and laboratory evidence have indicated the possibility of cumulative effects of multiple concussions. Variables such as the duration between successive injuries, age, gender and linear vs. rotational movement of the head, have accounted for some of the individual differences in the recovery process.

The presence of Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS) may not necessarily be associated with the severity of the initial injury. A familiar comment that an injured person may hear, could be something like; “I can’t believe he’s still having so many problems months after he just fell down and hit his head.” Yet, the person going through this has to deal with a multitude of challenges, some of which are: memory problems, increased uncertainty, confusion, fatigue and
being less proficient at tasks (Lezak, 2006).

As if that’s not enough, the injured person may have emotional reactions that are fairly common. These can include: increased emotional sensitivity, experiencing more intense emotions, increased anxiety and behavioral responses such as avoiding stressful situations, and social withdrawal. In some cases, a dysthymic mood or frank depression may occur. Sometimes people feel like there has been a change in their personality or others may make comments which
imply that. All of this can be very frustrating.

Click here to read on and look at some of the possible neuroanatomical and neurometabolic reasons for the above phenomenon.

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