Watch Your Head! Post-Concussive Syndrome and You

By Mylene Reuvekamp

With the recent injury to quarterback Colt McCoy, there has been a lot of discussion about concussions.  Most people assume that a concussion or post-concussive syndrome can’t occur unless there has been a loss of consciousness.  In fact, this is not the case and generally no physical swelling or bleeding are seen on scans.  A concussion occurs when the head either accelerates rapidly and then is stopped or spun rapidly.  Both of these mechanisms can be seen even in seemingly minor automobile accidents. 

The severity of the injury has been scientifically shown to have no association with the risk of post-concussion injury.  Symptoms usually occur within 7-10 days of the accident and include such things as headache, fatigue, dizziness, emotional changes such as irritability or anxiety, insomnia, loss of concentration and memory, or noise and light sensitivity.  Many people ignore these symptoms thinking that they are related to whiplash or a neck injury and not to a concussion.  There is no single way to diagnose a post-concussion injury.  Your doctor may order a CT scan to determine that there is no visual change in the brain.

If the symptoms persist, neuropsychological testing may be performed to determine the deficits present.  In most cases, post-concussion syndrome resolves within a matter of months.  It can continue, however, indefinitely in which case cognitive therapy to focus on memory deficits and attention skills may be helpful.

If you are in a car accident and have these symptoms after a few days, seek medical attention immediately for evaluation of post-concussion syndrome.  Our attorneys at the Brandi Law Firm have extensive experience handling injury cases involving concussions and post-concussive syndrome.  Contact us for a free consultation if you believe you have been injured and suffered a concussion or post-concussive syndrome.