- Post-Concussion Syndrome
- Post-Concussion Syndrome Symptoms
The Rivermead Post-Concussion Symptoms Questionnaire (RPQ) is a patient self-assessment tool used to help measure the severity of post-concussion symptoms. It contains 16 questions about physical, cognitive, and behavioral symptoms, and asks patients to rate the severity of each symptom on a scale of 0 to 4.
The symptoms patients are asked to assess include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Noise sensitivity
- Sleep disturbance
- Memory problems
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty thinking
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Double vision
The patient is asked to rate each symptom above on a scale as follows:
- 0 = Not experienced at all
- 1 = No more of a problem
- 2 = A mild problem
- 3 = A moderate problem
- 4 = A severe problem
The lower the score, the less severe the condition.
What Is Post-Concussion Syndrome?
What Are Symptoms of Post-Concussion Syndrome?
Symptoms of post-concussion syndrome include:
- Headache or feeling “pressure” in the head (most common)
- Neck pain
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Ringing in the ears
- Balance problems
- Fuzzy, double, or blurred vision, difficulty reading
- Mood swings
- Sleep problems
- Memory problems
- Problems paying attention
- Problems thinking clearly
- Difficulty focusing or concentrating
- Feeling slowed down mentally
- Reduced tolerance to stress, emotional excitement, or alcohol
- Decreases in taste and smell (rare)
What Causes Post-Concussion Syndrome?
Post-concussion syndrome results from a concussion, which is a form of brain injury.
Causes of brain injuries include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Accidents that occur from daily activities
- Injuries from contact sports such as football, ice hockey, soccer, and boxing
- Combat injuries such as from blasts and bullet wounds
Risk factors that may cause a person to be more likely to develop post-concussion syndrome include:
- Severe impact
- Being hit twice in a short time frame
- Four or more concussion symptoms that occur in the early stages of the concussion
- Longer duration of initial concussion symptoms
- Significant visual symptoms right after injury
Causes of persistent post-concussion symptoms can include:
How Is Post-Concussion Syndrome Diagnosed?
Post-concussion syndrome is diagnosed with a patient history and physical examination, along with tests such as:
What Is the Treatment for Post-Concussion Syndrome?
Treatment of post-concussion syndrome is aimed at relieving symptoms, and may include:
- Physical therapy
- Graduated exercise therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Vision therapy
- Light therapy (photobiomodulation) (currently being researched)
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