Post-concussion syndrome is a condition often acquired after a traumatic brain injury. It can occur in mild to severe cases of traumatic brain injury, and there is no statistical correlation between the severity of the injury and the chances of developing post-concussion syndrome. Symptoms of the condition include loss of memory and concentration, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, irritability, and anxiety. Symptoms may appear right after the injury, or may take months for the initial onset. Also, they may last over a year. Memory loss, particularly short-term, and headaches are typically the longest lasting effects.
There are two main hypotheses for the causes of post-concussion syndrome. One is that the impact of the concussion causes structural damage to the brain and disrupts neurotransmitter systems. The other main hypothesis is that the symptoms are due to psychological factors such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Further research on concussions should involve the process of ruling out rival hypotheses, although it is possible that both hypotheses are true.
In my senior year of high school, I suffered a concussion in a hockey practice. I got hit in the back of the head and my head hit the boards. I cannot remember five days before the injury and four days after. I was later diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome. Since I was five, I have always been prone to headaches, but for about ten months after the injury, my headaches were much more severe. Almost every headache in that time period resulted in extreme sensitivity to light and sound and acute pain. Some headaches even resulted in a loss of consciousness. I still have a slight difficulty with my short-term memory, particularly with names. Prior to the injury, I remembered every name even after one meeting. Post-concussion syndrome has had a fairly pronounced impact on my life.
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