PCS is more common in women. It is also more common in older adults.
Other things that may raise the risk are:
- A prior concussion
- Abusing drugs or alcohol
- Prior anxiety or physical problems
- Loss of consciousness during the event
- Loss of memory of the event
Anxiety, trouble with thinking, and noise sensitivity that lasts a few days after the injury may also raise the risk.
Not everyone with PCS feels the same. A person may have:
- Lack of energy
- Sleeping problems
- Lack of interest in activities that were once enjoyed
- Feelings of despair
- Personality changes
- A sensitivity to noise and light
- Problems with focus
PCS may affect daily tasks, social life, and work.
The goal of treatment is to manage symptoms until they pass. Options are:
- Waiting to resume normal activities by resting the body and mind
- Avoiding things that may jostle the brain, such as sports and roller coasters
- Medicines, such as:
- Over the counter or prescription pain relievers
- Antidepressants to ease depression, anxiety, sleep problems, mood changes, or lack of energy
- Sleep medicine
- Counseling to help manage emotions
- Rehabilitation to help learn new ways to do tasks
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
Copyright © EBSCO Information Services
All rights reserved.
a (PCS; Persistent PCS)
Brain Injury Association of America http://www.biausa.org
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov
Canadian Psychiatric Association http://www.cpa-apc.org
Ontario Brain Injury Association http://www.obia.ca
Broshek DK, De Marco AP, et al. A review of post-concussion syndrome and psychological factors associated with concussion. Brain Inj. 2015;29(2):228-237.
Concussion and mild traumatic brain injury. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/concussion-and-mild-traumatic-brain-injury. Accessed October 7, 2020.
Ellenborgen RG, Batjer H, et al. National Football League Head, Neck and Spine Committee’s Concussion Diagnosis and Management Protocol: 2017-2018 season. Br J Sport Med. 2018; pii: bjsports-2018-099203.
Management of Concussion/Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Working Group. Veterans Affairs/Department of Defense clinical practice guideline for management of concussion/mild traumatic brain injury. VA/DoD 2016 PDF.
Rose SC, Fischer AN, et al. How long is too long? The lack of consensus regarding the post-concussion syndrome diagnosis. Brain Inj. 2015;29(7-8):798-803.
TBI: Get the facts. Centers for Disease Control website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/get%5Fthe%5Ffacts.html. Accessed October 7, 2020.