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The Realities of Postconcussional Disorder

The Realities of Postconcussional Disorder

Postconcussional Disorder, also called Postconcussional Syndrome or PCS, is a condition that occurs following a concussion or brain injury. Symptoms of PCS involve physical and personality changes including amnesia; dizziness; depressed mood, irritability and anxiety; insomnia and problems with memory, concentration, and thinking.

Recently there has been much media attention focused on head injuries in high school, college and NFL football players. In August 2013 the NFL settled a lawsuit brought by 4500 retired NFL players, all suffering from brain injuries, in which the claimants accused the NFL of concealing what it knew about the dangers of repeated hits to the head.

Harry Caron, a Hall of Fame linebacker who played with the New York Giants from 1976 to 1988, is one of the leading spokesmen for the NFL's retired players. Carson was diagnosed with postconcussional syndrome in 1990 after a series of cognitive tests. Carson had difficulty with long term memory, information processing and higher level reasoning, as well as attention and concentration. Following his retirement Carson worked as a broadcaster with the MSG network, but was fired from that position after “freezing up” while doing an interview. He said he often mispronounced words or forgot what he was saying in the middle of a sentence.

According to a 2005 study postconcussional disorder occurs in about 38–80% of mild head injuries. Postconcussional syndrome is frequently confused with psychological stress reactions; however MRI scans show differences in the brains of persons suffering from the syndrome.

It was initially believed that post concussional disorder lasted weeks to months, but neurologists now acknowledge that the effects can be life-long, as with the case of Harry Carson.

Besides participation in contact sports, causes of concussion include involvement in a motor vehicle collision, being a victim of physical abuse, being a soldier involved in combat and falling, especially in children and older adults.

If you or a loved one suffer from post concussional syndrome or another head injury due to someone else’s negligence, contact an attorney who specializes in personal injury cases. You may never be the person you were, but you can at least be compensated for your trauma. Questions? Please contact us