The Relationship between Persistent Post Concussive Symptoms and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children–A Call for an Integrative View

Children suffering from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), often present significant diagnostic and therapeutic challenges. TBI may occur during a motor vehicle accident, a fall, a violent assault, sports injuries, etc. It results from a blunt impact or other mechanical force applied to the head, involving one or more of the following: loss of consciousness, loss of memory for events immediately before or after the accident, alternation in mental state at the time of the injury, or focal neurological deficits. The vast majority of TBIs in children are of mild severity, which account for 80–90 % of all brain injuries.

Traumatic Stress

One of the most common acute outcomes of mild TBI (mTBI) is a set of physical, emotional and cognitive symptoms, known as Post Concussive Syndrome (PCS). Typically PCS includes physical or somatic symptoms, such as headache, dizziness, and visual disturbances; cognitive impairments, such as attention, memory, and executive dysfunction; and emotional or behavioral problems such as irritability, anxiety, depression, affective lability, apathy, and/ or impulsivity. In the DSM-5 PCS is now subsumed under the heading of “minor neurocognitive disorder”.