A concussion is a brain injury that occurs when you receive a sudden blow or jolt to the head. It is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Your doctor may call a concussion a “mild brain injury.” Most concussions are not life- threatening, but they can have serious effects. A concussion may lead to thinking, sleeping, and balance problems, and symptoms. In rare cases, a blood clot may form on the brain after a concussion. This is a life-threatening condition.
Post-concussion syndrome is a condition that is typically associated with a head injury. The head injury may be categorized as a concussion or a mild traumatic brain injury. In general terms, post-concussion syndrome, or PCS, is a medical problem that persists for a period of time after a head injury has occurred. This period of time can range from weeks to months.
Causes of Post-Concussion Syndrome
In general, post-concussion syndrome follows the occurrence of an injury or trauma to the head. Not all people who suffer mild traumatic head injury experience post-concussion syndrome. This syndrome may be worse in people who have had previous concussions or head trauma. It may also be more severe in those who have early symptoms ofheadache after injury, or who have mental changes such as amnesia, fogginess or fatigue. Other risk factors include younger age and prior history of headaches.
Diagnosis of Post-Concussion Syndrome
Since symptoms can be vague and attributable to other reasons, it can be difficult to diagnose post-concussion syndrome. There is no definitive test for post-concussion syndrome. Diagnosis is mainly based on a history of head injury and reported symptoms. A physical exam, and perhaps a CT or MRI scan of the head, may be done to evaluate symptoms. Other tests may be given to rule out other causes of symptoms, such as infection, bleeding injury to the brain, or poisoning.
Symptoms of Post-Concussion Syndrome
Symptoms of post-concussion syndrome are often vague and non-specific.
Commonly reported symptoms include:
- Sleep problems
- Psychological symptoms such as depressed mood, irritability, andanxiety
- Cognitive problems involving memory, concentration, and thinking
Such symptoms can affect day-to-day life, and inhibit the ability to perform in situations like work.
persistent headache, extreme drowsiness, slurred speech, and repeated vomiting or nausea. Follow the links below to find WebMD’s comprehensive coverage about concussion, how it develops, what the symptoms are, how to treat it, and much more