FindLaw KnowledgeBasePublished: 2011-04-22
Only recently have the serious consequences of concussions become generally understood. Muhammad Ali and his Parkinson’s disease is a popular and extreme case of someone living with a brain injury from a (or a series of) sports related concussion. However, research shows that even non-professional athletes can suffer unseen injuries from common accidents that may last a lifetime.
A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury generally caused by a blow to, or the rapid back and forth movement of, the head. While a concussion itself is cause for concern, a concussions’ long lasting effects have many medical professionals alarmed.
PCS Causes and Symptoms
Post-concussion syndrome (PCS), also known as Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), is a complex set of neuropsychological disorders with symptoms lasting weeks, months or even years after the initial injury.
Concussions and subsequent PCS symptoms can result from motor vehicle accidents, falls, work place injuries, sporting injuries and acts of violence to name a few. The force accompanying such events can tear, displace or crush delicate brain tissue, resulting in a brain injury often without outward signs.
PCS patients complain mostly about problems with their memory, mood and ability to concentrate. However, PCS’s myriad symptoms include the following and more:
- Sensitivity to light and noise
- Nausea and vomiting
- Balance problems
- Blurred and double vision
- Mental dullness
- Mood swings
- Memory loss
Symptoms often come in groups. For most people, they appear seven to 10 days after a concussion and last up to three months. However, some symptoms can last a year or more.
Possible Long Lasting Medical Consequences
While any of the PCS symptoms could last indefinitely without proper treatment, brain injuries can lead to long-term problems such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Unfortunately, many brain injuries are not immediately apparent to medical professionals or even to the injured party. Even most diagnostic tests, such as MRIs and CT scans, will show little brain abnormality despite the presence of an injury. The lasting symptoms of PCS will only manifest themselves over time.
The possibility of PCS should always be explored in even simple personal injury cases. If you or a loved one has suffered any kind of trauma to the neck or head and has experienced any of the PCS symptoms discussed above, contact a knowledgeable personal injury attorney immediately to discuss your situation and ensure you receive the proper treatment and compensation.