With proper diagnosis and management, most patients with mild traumatic brain injuries like post-concussion syndrome (PCS) recover fully.
With post-concussion syndrome increasingly in the news, awareness of the syndrome (PCS) has skyrocketed. But there is currently no brain scan or blood test to diagnose PCS. Diagnosis of post-concussion syndrome is generally made after 90 days if symptoms relating to the injury such as these are still present:
- Concentration problems
- Memory issues
- Vertigo or dizziness
- Sleeping disturbances (too much/too little/insomnia)
- Emotional issues like irritability
- Noise or light sensitivity
Immediate symptoms from a concussion are generally physical - headache, confusion, nausea or dizziness. With rest and time, concussion symptoms generally disappear in a short time (a few days to several weeks).
Post-concussion syndrome describes a collection of concussion-related symptoms that tend to linger and may persist sometimes for years.
Top causes of post-concussion syndrome and mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBIs) are head injuries caused by car accidents, work place injuries, violence/assaults, falling, and sports or recreational injuries.
(Post concussion syndrome is not CTE (chronic traumatic encephelopathy), a progressive degenerative disease that may be linked to multiple concussions or repetitive brain trauma.)
PCS Treatment at Pate
There is not complete consensus on the timing of treatment; some experts believe it is wise to wait 90 days. Others believe post-concussion syndrome can be treated sooner successfully.
When brains are imaged after a concussion, most appear normal. Some subtle changes have been noted using advanced methods like positron emission tomography.
At Pate, every case of post-concussion syndrome is unique. Our team assesses each referral so that the most compatible program can be determined. Not all cases of post-concussion syndrome will require comprehensive neuro-rehabilitation.
We offer both day neuro and transitional living treatment for PCS and MTBI. Our treatment team creates an environment of hope and encouragement for patients with realistic expectations and goals. We believe helping people create problem solving strategies and adjustments is key.
All of our treatment plans are personalized. Programs focus on:
• Problem solving
• Pain management goals
• Cognitive strategy development
• Part-time scheduling options
• Vocational and vestibular treatments
For more on concussions, especially for parents of kids who play sports, visit the Centers for Disease Control's excellent concussion resource area.