WebMd has a pretty good rundown on what is involved in postconcussional disorder following a Traumatic Brain Injury. Also called postconcussional syndrome, the term is a catch call for everything that can happen after a head trauma results in a concussion. Not everyone has this condition after suffering a head trauma. Some are at greater risk to suffering postconcussional syndrome, especially if they have had head trauma before, are young, or have a history of headaches. The period of time when the syndrome can last ranges from a few weeks to a few months.
A diagnosis of postconcussional syndrome is hard to achieve. A physician will conduct a physical exam, which will include a neurological exam, and combine that with the patient’s history to ascertain if the head trauma has resulted in postconcussional syndrome. There will be tests that will rule out other causes of the symptoms, including bleeding injury to the brain, infection, or poisoning.
Possible symptoms include headaches, dizziness, sleep disorders, psychological problems that include depression, irritability and anxiety, and cognitive problems such as memory lapses and the inability to concentrate and engage in critical thinking. In more severe cases, the symptoms of postconcussional syndrome can interfere in daily life, including school and work.
In most cases, rest and stress relief will alleviate the symptoms over time. Some physicians will prescribe pain medication to deal with the headaches that accompany postconcussional syndrome. In cases where psychological difficulties result, a mental health professional will be consulted to deal with them, using psychotherapy and antidepressants. In most cases the patient will have to be reassured that the symptoms, severe at first, will fade with time, improving within a few weeks and resolve themselves after a few months.
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