Post-Concussion Syndrome

Concussion injuries that are ignored, hidden and go unreported, not recognized early on, managed inappropriately, or allowed to return to physical exertion or play too soon before full recovey risk a more chronic condition referred to as Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS).

Time to recovery from a concussion is difficult to predict, particularly in the early stages.  Those having prior history of multiple concussions may experience taking longer to recover with each successive injury.  Upwards of 10%-`15% of concussed athletes will require extended periods of recovery greater than 3-4 weeks, and may take as long as several more weeks or months to recover.

Ignoring symptoms while continuing physical and cognitive exertional activity (see below) may prolong recovery and possibly lead to PSC.  PSC is a complex condition that can include a multitude of post-concussion symptoms, including sleep difficulties, pronounced memory problems, even as much as affecting a person's emotional state, personality, and cause for behavioral changes.  This condition usually requires a neuro-specialitst - neuropsychologist, neurologist or neurosurgeon to intervene and certain cessation from exertional activities.

Behavioral Changes
  • Poor attention & concentration
  • Irritable & easily frustrated
  • Change in following directions, answering
  • Decreased short-term memory
  • Delayed mental processing
  • Easily distracted
  • Inability to follow through with assignments
  • Sensitivity to light, noise
  • Excessively tired, fatigued
  • Reduced academic performance
  • Increased stress of taking tests and reading
  • LD, ADHD students may have greater effects
 
Cognitive Exertion
[texting, playing video games, homework, mathematical/analytical problem solving, focused reading]
  • May prolong recovery
  • Reduced academic performance
  • Stress of taking tests; reading
  • Math; Factual recall
  • LD, ADD. ADHD students affected more so
  • Protracted PCS may necessitate a 504 Plan or Individualized Ed. Prog. (IEP)

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