Persistence of postconcussional symptoms in uncomplicated mildly head-injured patients: a prospective cohort study

N. Bohnen, A. Twijnstra, J. Jolles

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    We report the follow-up of 41 nonhospitalized subjects with uncomplicated mild head injury (MHI) and no premorbid compromising condition. At 3 months after the trauma 22 patients still complained of at least 1 postconcussional symptom (PCS) and 10 patients had 3 or more PCS. At 6 months 12 patients complained of at least 1 PCS, whereas 9 patients still had 3 symptoms or more. Patients with persistent PCS complained more of emotional symptoms. Results obtained with objective tests indicated that this group was characterized by a decreased performance on the Stroop Color Word Interference Test and a reduced tolerance to light and sound stimuli in comparison with patients with only few or no PCS. Persistent neurobehavioral deficits were correlated with scores on a postconcussive/cognitive rating scale, but not with scores on an emotional/vegetative scale. Although most patients may substantially recover after MHI, about 1 in 4 patients may persist with a residue of neurobehavioral deficits. Patients with persistent PCS should be evaluated in a multidiagnostic and objective way in order to gain a better understanding of the nature and origin of the subjective symptoms.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)193-200
    Number of pages8
    JournalNeuropsychiatry Neuropsychology and Behavioral Neurology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1993

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