What Is Post-Concussion Syndrome?

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Traumatic brain injuries are very scary and uncertain injuries. They often require the help of a brain injury lawyer to recover the compensation necessary to pay for treatment.

A lot of people only think about a person’s health when they are recovering from the injury. Once they have left the hospital, unfortunately, the healing has often just begun.

With a traumatic brain injury (TBI), the toughest part is usually enduring the lasting after-effects. Dealing with post-concussion syndrome can be a grueling experience for many people.

Post-Concussion Syndrome Explained

This syndrome is assigned to people that suffer a specific set of symptoms after suffering a concussion or other mild traumatic brain injury. These symptoms can show up immediately after an injury or a few days after.

The symptoms vary and can change throughout the course of the condition. The duration of the syndrome is different for each patient and can last from a few days to, in some severe cases, several years. Typically the duration is between a week and a few months.


There are several possible symptoms that range from the psychological to the physical. Interestingly enough, certain symptoms are more common in the early stages of the syndrome while others are more common later in the syndrome.

Physical symptoms include the following:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Blurred vision

Psychological symptoms include the following:

  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to sound
  • Aggression
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Apathy

There are more symptoms, but these are the most common. Diagnosis, even when the symptoms are present, can be difficult. The reason is that many symptoms are shared with other conditions.

Depression after an injury is common. Many of these symptoms are also experienced by those suffering from depression. When depression is occurring, it is equally difficult to determine if the cause stems from the injury or is purely psychologically driven.


It is not clear what exactly causes this syndrome. Some speculate damage to neurotransmitters causes the syndrome while others believe it is due to damage to the brain structure. What is known about it is that it does not occur in all TBI victims.

Certain demographics tend to be more susceptible to the condition. These people include women, the elderly, and those who have suffered a prior concussion.

Studies have been conducted to try and find the exact reason the condition occurs. Unfortunately, the answer is just as elusive today as when the research began. The brain is a complicated organ that harbors many secrets regardless of the advancements in medicine.


There is no current cure for post-concussion syndrome. At this time, all doctors can do is treat the symptoms and the original personal injury. Until doctors understand why it is occurring, it is doubtful they will be able to cure it.

Doctors address both the physical and psychological symptoms. In many cases, medications are used to treat the physical symptoms like headache and nausea. Antidepressants can also be prescribed to deal with some of the psychological effects.

Psychological counseling is another therapy used for the syndrome. The counseling gives patients coping skills to deal with some of the symptoms that they are experiencing.

A lot of times simply educating a patient about the potential symptoms of the syndrome can help a patient cope. The understanding that some of the mood swings and feelings of anxiety are coming from the syndrome can ease a patient knowing that it is a medical condition and not a mental illness.

Since it is not known how long the syndrome will last, the treatments continue until the symptoms subside or change. For most patients these symptoms will dissolve within a month of the concussion or brain injury.

If you are experiencing these symptoms, visit your doctor. Do not self-diagnose as even a doctor has difficulty accurately diagnosing this syndrome.