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FAQ - Post-Concussion Syndrome
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How long can post concussion syndrome last along with its symptoms?


I sustained a concussion this past halloween after getting pounded in the temple and the forehead,in which a "push came to shove" incident turned into bloody brawl with me getting the worst of it and the other getting wrestled down until he actually calmed down.This individual was on a mood stabilizer known as lithium but quit.I thought this person was my friend but he ended up "snapping" on me.
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Post-concussion syndrome, also known as postconcussive syndrome or PCS, is a set of symptoms that a person may experience for weeks, months, or even years after a concussion, a mild form of traumatic brain injury. As many as 50% of patients who have experienced concussion have PCS,and some sources say as many as 90% of patients experience postconcussion symptoms.[2] Some doctors make a diagnosis of PCS in patients who have symptoms resulting from concussion for more than three months after the injury,while others make the diagnosis in patients who have symptoms starting within a week of trauma. In late, or persistent PCS, symptoms last for over six months.

It is not known what causes PCS symptoms to occur and persist or why some patients who suffer a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) develop PCS while others do not.It is commonly believed that physiological and psychological factors before, during, and after the injury all take part in the development of PCS
People who have had concussions may experience physical, mental, or emotional symptoms. Symptoms can appear immediately or weeks to months after the initial injury.

Physical symptoms can include:

headache
dizziness
impaired balance
nausea and/or vomiting
fatigue or sleepiness
inability to sleep
decreased libido
sensitivity to noise or light
ringing in the ears
double or blurred vision
decreased sense of taste, smell, or hearing

Emotional symptoms may include:

irritability
anxiety
restlessness
depression
lack of emotion
emotional lability or mood swings
lack of ability to tolerate stress or alcohol
aggression

Cognitive or mental symptoms can include:

amnesia or difficulty remembering things
confusion or impaired cognition
impaired judgment
slowed cognitive processing
difficulty with abstract thinking
difficulty concentrating
decrease in work performance
decrease in social skills

Treatment
Patients who have suffered a head injury must be examined by emergency medical care providers to ensure that the head injury is not worse than concussion and potentially life threatening. Thus, head injury patients with symptoms that may indicate a dangerous injury are given CT scans or MRIs and are observed by medical staff. Later, the patient may be tested to determine his or her level of cognitive functioning. A test called the Rivermead Postconcussion Symptoms Questionnaire exists to measure the severity of the patient's symptoms. There is no scientifically established treatment for PCS, so the syndrome is usually not treated, except with pain relievers for headaches and medicine to relieve depression, nausea, or dizziness.Rest is also advised but is only somewhat effective

When patients have ongoing disabilities, they are treated with therapy to help them function at work, socially, or in other contexts.Patients are aided in gradually returning to work and other preinjury activities as symptoms permit. Since stress exacerbates post concussion symptoms, and vice versa, an important part of treatment is letting the patient know that symptoms are normal and helping the patient deal with impairments

Prognosis
For most patients, post concussion symptoms go away within a few days to several weeks after the original injury occurs.[In others, symptoms may remain for three to six months.In a small percentage of patients, symptoms may persist for years or may be permanent. If symptoms are not resolved by one year, they are likely to be permanent (though some people report improvements after even 2 or 3 years time).However, the prognosis for PCS is generally considered excellent, with total resolution of symptoms in the large majority of cases.

If a patient receives another blow to the head after a concussion but before concussion symptoms have gone away, there is a slight risk that he or she will develop the very rare but deadly Second Impact Syndrome (SIS). In SIS, the brain may rapidly swell and be damaged.


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Should someone who is experiencing post concussion syndrome travel on an aeroplane?


I am have this syndrome and some days are really bad. I am presently of work on sick leave.
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If you have no active disease process in your brain or a recent bleed you should be fine, commercial aircraft are maintained at 5000ft atmosphere so you should be fine.  (+ info)

What do you know about CONCUSSIONS and Post Concussion Syndrome?


I am having a horrible time, since I had a really bad concussion. But I keep thinking the doctor is excusing all sorts of sadness and depression and laziness and blaming it all on the concussion--I have to admit that I was NEVER lazy before, but I do think that I have reason to be seriously grieving. I just don't know enough about this to believe it will end, if it really is the concussion, and on. I fear this is my life for good. Any thoughts or experience would be most appreciated.
(These are some more symptoms--free floating anxiety, trouble concentrating, inertia that I'm experiencing, and it's been 9 months now.) HUGE car accident!
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Well, its not fair to say "its just in your mind" or that you are just imagining it all...Everyone is different and not everyones experiences are alike.. BUT I have been in 2 serious car wrecks and have suffered 4 concussions (2 very bad ones from the car accidents) and I will tell you that I only get headaches from time to time. Rarely, I notice that my coordination and balance is a little off... I never went to a neurologist, and I was never diagnosed with Post Concussion Syndrome and I'm feeling fine.

Your doctor could very well be wrong. But did you ever think it could post traumatic stress syndrome? I know its been 9 months, but memories from the accident might still be in the back of your mind more than you think. Since the 2nd accident, I get anxiety during car rides sometimes, out of nowhere. And sometimes I get depressed too. For a while, I felt like the 2nd accident ruined my life, thinking "if only it never happened".... But really, I am fortunate that I lived through not 1, but 2 accidents where I very well could have died!

I hope this has helped. You'll be back on your feet soon, don't worry!  (+ info)

Can post concussion syndrome cause an acute blood pressure rise?


Concussion caused the blood pressure to rise to 168/106 and two weeks later this fell to 158/101. Is this post concussion syndrome (as the junior doctor said)? Permanent headaches.

I am terrified of hospitals though. More terrified of hospitals than being attacked.
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A minor head injury can cause blood pressure to acutely rise. But if it remains high or there are any other concerning symptoms (severe headache, vomiting, loss of consciousness, seizures, differing pupil sizes), then that is an indication for a CT scan of the head to ensure that there isn't a bleed in the brain.

Postconcussion syndrome is not associated with an elevated blood pressure. It is a syndrome that is associated with:
Headaches, dizziness, fatigue, irritability, insomina, difficulty concentrating, noise sensitvity, and anxiety.

The worst of this occurs in the first 7-10 days after the injury, improve greatly or resolve within the first month for many, and the vast majority of people are symptom free within 3 months. A very small percentage may have symptoms for over a year, but this is debateble (especially for minor head injuries).

"Permanent" headaches are not a part of concussions or post-concussive syndrome.

A blood pressure of 158/101 is high, but not dangerously high. It could definitely explain the headaches, and should be treated. If BP was definitely known to be normal (120/80) before the injury and the "permanent headaches" are new and severe, then a head CT is definitely worthwhile.

Hope this helps.  (+ info)

how long should the symptoms of post concussion syndrome last?


i receive a concussion two weeks ago from a punch to the head and still feel the same? migraines, fatigued , depressed etc
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My husband was hit with a ball bat in a robbery, 22 yrs ago. Most of his symptoms went away after a few years. But he still gets migraines several times a year. And may for the rest of his life. Talk to a DR. about pain medication, but be prepared to deal; w/ it for a while.  (+ info)

I have post-concussion syndrome. What should I know about this?


I was diagnosed yesterday that i have post concussion syndrome. I suffered from a concussion over a week ago and my headaches have not gotten any better, and somedays are worse. I also have been experiencing dizzy spells and light headedness and also pressure in my head. Well, anyways, what should I know/ understand about this? I am a 15 yr old girl. I heard that it can cause depression...is that true?
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When I was diagnosed with PCS they immediately put me on an anti-depressant medicine. It was needed. I went from someone in a very high position in business to someone who couldn't get dressed in the right order. It was very scary for me because everything I had done was now gone. So generally what they call that kind of depression is that is secondary to your PCS. In other words you wouldn't have it if you didn't have PCS. Additionally most people with PCS get over it within 6 months, of that group most within 1 month. If you get better in a quick amount of time it won't be such an issue.

There is no reason to expect that you will get depression. But it is something that can happen.

If the middle part of your brain in the limbic area is damaged then you can have emotional problems that are directly related to your injury.

Guys get better faster than girls. However, your age is greatly in your favor as far as how quickly you get better. Also my case (dealing with PCS for 5 years is very unusual.)

What you need to do now is take care of you. Follow the neurologists instructions. Worry and stress will not help you get better any faster. In fact, if you allow yourself to get stressed out then it may cause it to take longer to get better.

The fact that these are the only symptoms you are having now is a good thing too. However, you might find as you start to do things that you can't do now because of the pain or dizziness that you find other things that you can't do. However, you just keep on trying over and over. Sometimes it will stick, and you won't have a that problem anymore and sometimes it won't. Just don't give up.

When you see your neurologist tell him/her if you are having a problem with depression, they can give you something to help. It doesn't mean you will have to take it for the rest of your life. And it can be preventative in a way. By keeping you from always thinking negatively it can help your body keep from getting into a permanent kind of depression thing.

Hopefully you will be over your PCS soon and you won't need all this advice. If however you are still dealing with it after a month or so from your injury, make sure that the neurologist you are seeing is an expert in brain injuries. It will make all the difference in the world in your treatment, your outlook, and hopefully your recovery.

Good luck to you.  (+ info)

How Long Does Post Concussion Syndrome last?


My brother hit his head about two weeks ago and has not been able to see correctly ever since and he is also very dizzy and the doctor said he had p.c.s.
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There is no way for anyone - including the doctor to tell you that. Everyone's brain is different - therefore everyone's brain injury will be different.

That being said... there are some statistical things the doctors have learned. 96% of people who get PCS are symptom free by 6 months. Of that group, most are symptom free in month 1. Guys get better statistically faster than women and young people faster than older folks.

However, just because someone doesn't get better in 6 months doesn't mean it isn't real, it just means they are in the 4%.

Best of luck for his recovery. He needs help and rest right now as his life is not currently as he knew it. That is very upsetting.  (+ info)

I work in a bank and suffer from Post concussion syndrome, last month. How soon should I be back out to work?


post concussion syndreom is ongoing--the actaul injury is teh concussion--i have had if since 2002--and was not able to work much for about 2 years--some people are okay within days  (+ info)

I have been diagnosed with Post concussion syndrome is it safe to smoke weed?


No...don't risk it  (+ info)

Purple heart for post concussion syndrome?


Can you earn a purple heart if you were diagnosed with post concussion syndrome from a roadside bomb blast?
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The Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the President of the United States to any member of an Armed Force or any civilian national of the United States who, while serving under competent authority in any capacity with one of the U.S. Armed Services after 5 April 1917, has been wounded or killed, or who has died or may hereafter die after being wounded.

A wound is defined as an injury to any part of the body from an outside force or agent sustained under one or more of the conditions listed above A physical lesion is not required, however, the wound for which the award is made must have required treatment by a medical officer and records of medical treatment for wounds or injuries received in action must have been made a matter of official record.

I am not sure. However, basing it off of the criteria, I would say yes. I do know that the PH is not awarded for PTSD. The difference here is that your injury stated above has occurred as a result of enemy action.
So as long as that can be justified, I would assume safely that yes it can be.  (+ info)

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