® Post-concussion Syndrome (PCS)

Concussion is an injury to the brain that may occur following a blow or knock to the head.

The blow, or knock, to the head can cause the brain to move slightly within the skull, which can disrupt the electrical activity within some of the cells.  This can result in the brain ceasing to work correctly for a short period of time.

Concussion is also referred to as a ‘minor traumatic brain injury’.

The most common causes of concussions are falls from height, road traffic accidents, sporting injuries when partaking in sports such as rugby, football, boxing, cycling, ice hockey.

Post-concussion syndrome, a complication of concussion, is a group of symptoms that develop after a concussion.

Symptoms of post-concussion syndrome can include;

Physical symptoms

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Double/blurred vision
  • Hearing loss/tinnitus
  • Reduced sense of smell/taste
  • Problems tolerating light/noise

Emotional/Behavioural symptoms

  • Easily irritable
  • Aggressive
  • Anxious
  • Depression
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in personality
  • Lack of energy/interest
  • Sudden shows of emotion

Cognitive symptoms

  • Forgetfulness
  • Concentration/attention problems
  • Slower reaction times
  • Problems processing information/reasoning
  • Difficulty learning new things

Generally symptoms will only last for a matter of weeks, however, some symptoms may last longer and can last for three to six months.  In rare cases symptoms can last for a year or more.  If symptoms do last, then the diagnosis will be one of mild brain injury.

Risk factors that may increase the likelihood of suffering from PCS include;

  • Being a young male
  • Being elderly
  • Being homeless
  • A history of mental health problems
  • Being a sportsman/woman

Whilst there is no treatment for post-concussion syndrome medications such as migraine medications and antidepressants may assist in relieving some of the symptoms.  While talking therapies may assist in controlling psychological symptoms.

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