A new study by Cork University Hospital (CUH) has shown that one year after a concussion injury, more women were still affected by mild brain injury symptoms than men.
What is Post Concussion Syndrome?
This is known as Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS). It is a mild traumatic brain injury with symptoms including dizziness, depression, headaches and cognitive deficits such as problems with memory, language and thinking.
Patients still living with symptoms a year later
For the most part, the study found that symptoms were resolved in patients within 3 months. But for as many as 45% of patients, they continued to experience post-concussion symptoms up to a year later. People struggled with fatigue, which is very common after brain injuries. Some patients reported worse dizziness or difficulties with physical functioning.
More women affected with Post Concussion Syndrome
Post concussion syndrome was more prevalent in women and these women reported worse outcomes after their mild traumatic brain injury. This may be somewhat surprising to read because many of us associate brain injury with men. Here in Acquired Brain Injury Ireland, two thirds of our clients are male and the most common causes of brain injury we see are from stroke, road traffic accidents, falls and assaults.
Brain injury rehabilitation may help
The CUH study was a small sample of 112 patients and larger studies will help to draw attention to this widely under-recognised condition. However, the latest study is the start of clear evidence that many people live with the affects of concussion long after their injury. It may mean that following a concussion, many people could benefit from rehabilitation specific to brain injury, like the services we provide, to help with their recovery.
If you are worried that someone is concussed, here are the signs to look out for:
-Person appears dazed or stunned
-Person forgets instruction
-Person answers questions slowly
-Person loses consciousness (even briefly)
-Person forgets events prior to or after fall or hit
-Person moves clumsily
-Shows Mood Behaviour/Personality Change
What steps should I take if someone is concussed?
If you suspect a concussion, complete and utter rest is the most important thing to do.
-No Bright Lights
-No Loud Noise
-No Physical Exercise
-No Exertion of any kind
In other words, complete brain rest and sleep.