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

Toddlers copy their peers to fit in, but apes don't

13 hours ago

From the playground to the board room, people often follow, or conform, to the behavior of those around them as a way of fitting in. New research shows that this behavioral conformity appears early in human ...

Sadness lasts longer than other emotions

14 hours ago

Why is it that you can feel sad up to 240 times longer than you do feeling ashamed, surprised, irritated or even bored? It's because sadness often goes hand in hand with events of greater impact such as death ...

Can parents make their kids smarter?

14 hours ago

Reading bedtime stories, engaging in conversation and eating nightly dinners together are all positive ways in which parents interact with their children, but according to new research, none of these actions ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.