What is it?
Post-Concussional Syndrome (PCS) is the development of various symptoms including physical, psychological and emotional symptoms following a mild traumatic brain injury. It’s a complication of concussion. The exact cause isn’t known. PCS can occur whether or not the person loses consciousness in the original trauma, and the severity of the original injury doesn’t seem to have a bearing on whether or not it develops.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms include physical issues like headaches, balance problems, nausea and tiredness. There are several cognitive problems associated with PCs – these are concentration problems and inability to think clearly. Additionally, the psychological effects can include irritability, depression and anxiety, as well as sleeping problems.
When do symptoms appear and how long do they last?
PCS symptoms can occur within the first week to ten days.
Headaches and dizziness can last for weeks and even months after the original brain injury. Most symptoms go away within about three months, but some can last for more than a year.
How is PCS diagnosed?
Diagnosis of PCS is achieved by confirming that there has been a minor head injury together with the presence of any or all of the symptoms referred to above.
How should a solicitor handle cases of PCS?
If you’re a personal injury lawyer and you suspect PCS in your client, it’s your duty to refer the client to a neuropsychologist and/or a psychiatrist for assessment and treatment if appropriate. The instruction of a neuropsychologist would follow a report from either a neurologist or neurosurgeon. An original diagnosis of a head injury is required.
How is PCS treated?
If PCS is diagnosed and treatment advised, this normally takes the form of cognitive behavioural therapy. CBT is a talking therapy that can help manage problems by changing the way a person thinks and behaves. It is most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but can be useful for other mental and physical health problems such as PCS.
What are the results of treatment?
Often therapy produces a good outcome with recovery over a period of months. However, PCS and its symptoms can be permanent resulting in future loss of earnings.
What if you’ve had PCS?
Richard Meggitt, solicitor at ASD, has 20 years’ experience in dealing with PCS. We have proven experts in this field, including Mr Andras Kemeny, consultant neurosurgeon at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Dr Neil Holden, consultant psychiatrist and Dr K Ford, neuropsychologist based in Leeds. We are also able to arrange treatment where appropriate.
You can read our case study involving post-concussionaly syndrome here.
If you have suffered a head injury at work or as a result of a road traffic accident, call Richard Meggitt on 0114 2672470 for an immediate home visit.