The study of a medical studentConcussions are a common injury: most athletes have experienced one in their lifetime and recovered quite easily. But sometimes, the effects of a concussion can last longer than they should. Post-concussive syndrome (PCS) occurs when concussion symptoms persist for months or years after sustaining a mild brain injury, or any brain trauma. There are many questions surrounding post-concussive syndrome, so we’ve taken the liberty of answering 4 of them.

  1. What Are the Symptoms of Post-Concussive Syndrome?

    Post-concussive syndrome occurs when the original symptoms of a concussion last longer than three months. There are many symptoms of post-concussive syndrome, ranging from emotional and physical symptoms to cognitive symptoms.

    • The emotional symptoms that often accompany PCS are:
      • Anxiety
      • Depression
      • Feeling overwhelmed
      • Irritability
      • Mood swings/behavior changes
      • Low energy or motivation
    • The physical symptoms that often accompany PCS are:
      • Headache
      • Fatigue
      • Nausea
      • Dizziness
      • Light sensitivity
      • Persistent neck pain
      • Sleep problems
    • The cognitive symptoms that often accompany PCS are:
      • Difficulty concentrating and reading
      • Difficulty finding things
      • Brain Fog
      • Memory issues

    If you have sustained a concussion, and these symptoms have persisted for more than three months, you should visit your specialist to be evaluated for post-concussive syndrome

  2. What Causes Post-Concussive Syndrome?

    Post-concussive syndrome can develop after sustaining a mild to severe brain injury. It can also come from brain traumas like carbon-monoxide poisoning, chemical exposure, certain viral or bacterial illnesses, surgery, and more.

    Post-concussion symptoms often stem from issues with their neurovascular coupling (NVC). NVC refers to the relationship between neurons and the blood vessels that supply them. The cells that are affected by this may not receive enough oxygen to carry out their duties, like making new memories or reading a book. Other neurons may try to pick up the slack, but they don’t always succeed.

    The issue arises when hyperactive brain regions aren’t doing enough work, and others that are doing more work than they should. This results in the brain being tired out, which leads to symptoms like headaches, feeling overwhelmed, irritability, and more.

  3. Is Post Concussive Syndrome Permanent?

    Any traumatic brain injury can have lasting effects. Post-concussive syndrome can be permanent if it is left untreated, but it may improve with therapy. It is indicated that if symptoms have not been reduced after three years, the condition may be permanent.

    If symptoms have not responded to treatment, it is often called persistent post-concussive syndrome to describe what patients experience when their symptoms have not gone away.

    Often, the reason that symptoms persist is because not every brain injury is the same, and not all patients respond to the same treatment methods. The regions that are affected by a brain injury vary from person to person. It would be beneficial to seek treatment from a specialist who has extensive experience in treating post-concussive syndrome.

  4. Can Post-Concussive Syndrome Be Treated?

    There are a variety of treatments for post-concussive syndrome. If you have sustained a concussion, or have experienced post-concussive symptoms that have lasted longer than they should, you should visit your specialist to be evaluated. An evaluation from a neurological specialist is essential for a successful recovery.

    Since treatment varies for each person, an evaluation is the first step in determining how to meet your needs. At Dayton Neurological Associates, patients are given a brain scan to thoroughly examine the extent of the injury. They will then receive a personalized treatment plan for a successful recovery.

Post-concussive syndrome can have lasting effects that can change your life. It is imperative that you seek out treatment as soon as possible. With prompt evaluation and personalized treatment, you can have your symptoms improved and reach a full recovery.

If you or a loved one has sustained a concussion, or are experiencing post-concussive symptoms, Dr. Michael P Verdon at Dayton Neurological Associates has over 20 years of experience in treating post-concussive syndrome, so he and his team understand the unique challenges that face each brain injury.

Dayton Neurological Associates provides Dayton, OH with neurosurgery, concussion care, and pain relief. With cutting-edge diagnostics and high success rates, Dr. Michael P. Verdon improves patients’ function and quality of life. We offer services ranging from post-concussive syndrome treatments to kyphoplasty. If you would like to schedule an appointment, schedule one online today, or contact us at (937) 797-3137 for more information.