Just about everyone has at least heard of concussions, but far fewer are aware of post-concussion syndrome. The disorder is generally diagnosed when concussion symptoms such as headaches and dizziness linger for weeks or even months after an injury, but understandings of what cause the condition are less clear. Some have even suggested the condition may be more psychologically based than the biologically rooted traditional concussion symptoms.
It isn’t uncommon for post-concussion syndrome symptoms to not present themselves immediately, but like the typical concussion symptoms, they usually appear within the first seven to 10 days. Unlike the average concussions however, symptoms can last between two to three months up to a full year after the injury.
Symptoms of post-concussive syndrome nearly identical to those of the typical concussion, however they are notably prolonged and suggest more extensive damage. They include:
- Loss of concentration and memory
- Noise and light sensitivity
In a relatively limited number of cases, those who are experiencing post-concussion syndrome report behavior or emotional changes, and may behave more aggressive, irritable, stubborn, or suspicious in the time after the injury.
While we have come to easily recognize the symptoms of brain injuries and post-concussion syndrome, our understanding of the causes is much more limited. It is unclear why some individuals with concussions develop post-concussion symptoms and other do not, especially as no link has been found with the severity of the injury.