Persistent symptoms following concussion may be posttraumatic stress disorder

Concussion accounts for more than 90 percent of all TBIs, although little is known about prognosis for the injury. The symptoms cited as potentially being part of PCS fall into three areas: cognitive, somatic and emotional. But the interpretation of symptoms after MTBI should also take into account that injuries are often sustained during psychologically distressing events which can lead to PTSD.

The authors conducted a study of injured patients at an emergency department in a hospital in France to examine whether persistent symptoms three months after a head injury were specific to concussion or may be better described as part of PTSD. The study included 534 patients with head injury and 827 control patients with nonhead injuries.

Three months after the injury, 21.2 percent of head-injured and 16.3 percent of nonhead-injured patients met the diagnosis of PCS; 8.8 percent of head-injured patients met the criteria for PTSD compared with 2.2 percent of control patients.

"This prospective study of the three-month PCS and PTSD symptoms of mild head- and nonhead-injured patients recruited at the ED [] showed that the rationale to define a PCS that is specific to head-trauma patients is weak. … Further use of PCS in -injury patients has important consequences, in terms of treatment, insurance resource allocation and advice provided to patients and their families. Available evidence does not support further use of PCS. Our results also stressed the importance of considering PTSD risk and treatment for patients with MTBI."

More information: JAMA Psychiatry. Published online July 16, 2014. DOI: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.666

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

A silent epidemic: Minor traumatic brain injury

Oct 10, 2013

In the United States, approximately 1.4 million people suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year. Of those injuries, three out of four are minor TBI (mTBI)—a head injury that causes a temporary change in mental status ...

Can smoking medical marijuana reduce PTSD symptoms?

May 23, 2014

Clinical research from New Mexico supports a conclusion that smoking cannabis [marijuana] is associated with PTSD symptom reduction in some patients. The study, published in the newest special issue of Journal of Psychoactive ...

Recommended for you

Giving emotions to virtual characters

2 hours ago

Researchers at the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico (UAEM) were able to simulate human facial expressions in virtual characters and use them in order to create better environments within a virtual ...

Emotion-tracking software aims for "mood-aware" internet

3 hours ago

Emotions can be powerful for individuals. But they're also powerful tools for content creators, such as advertisers, marketers, and filmmakers. By tracking people's negative or positive feelings toward ads—via ...

The emotional appeal of stand-up comedy

3 hours ago

Comics taking to the stage at the Edinburgh Fringe this week should take note: how much of a hit they are with their audiences won't be down to just their jokes. As Dr Tim Miles from the University of Surrey has discovered, ...

User comments