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Post-Concussion Syndrome

What is Post-Concussion Syndrome?

Post-concussion syndrome is a disorder in which some symptoms, such as headache and dizziness, persist for weeks or months following a concussion. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that is usually caused by a blow to the head or by whiplash-type movement of the head.

Post-Concussion Syndrome Symptoms

The most prominent symptoms of post-concussion syndrome are headaches and dizziness. Post-concussion headaches may feel like tension headaches or migraines.

Other symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Apathy
  • Balance problems
  • Blurred vision
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Loss of concentration and memory
  • Noise and light sensitivity
  • Ringing in the ears, also called tinnitus

Post-concussion syndrome symptoms may be compounded by other disorders, increasing the risk of misdiagnosis.

If you experience any symptoms after hitting your head, seek medical attention.

Post-Concussion Syndrome Treatment

There is no specific treatment for post-concussion syndrome, but medications and other therapies may help relieve some of the symptoms. Every brain injury is different, and it is important that you consult with a neurologist if you suspect you have a concussion or brain injury.

Additional Information

How common is post-concussion syndrome?

Approximately 15 percent of people with a concussion may go on to develop post-concussion syndrome.

Who gets post-concussion syndrome?

Anyone who has had a concussion can experience post-concussion syndrome. Common causes of concussion include:

  • Auto accidents
  • Sports
  • Falls, especially in younger children and older adults
  • Physical abuse
  • Military combat

People with a history of any of the following may be more likely to experience post-concussion syndrome:

  • Migraine headaches
  • Mood, anxiety, learning, or seizure disorder
  • Previous concussion
  • Prolonged recovery after concussion

How is post-concussion syndrome diagnosed?

No single test can diagnose post-concussion syndrome, however, the following tests can help detect structural brain abnormalities caused by injury to the brain:

Information and Resources

Medscape
National Library of Medicine

Group 12
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Approximately 15 percent of people with a concussion may go on to develop post-concussion syndrome.
Medically Reviewed by Javier Cárdenas, MD on January 13, 2020

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