HealthDay News — According to a study published in the Journal of Neurotrauma, a minority of patients with post-concussion syndrome (PCS) recover — with two-thirds of those doing so within a year.
Carmen Hiploylee, from the University of Toronto, and colleagues examined recovery from PCS in a series of 285 patients with concussion meeting international sport concussion criteria who received a questionnaire regarding recovery.
Data were reviewed for 110 eligible respondents, with post-concussion symptoms lasting a minimum of 3 months.
The researchers found that 27% of the population eventually recovered; of those who recovered, 67% did so within the first year. No eligible respondents recovered from PCS lasting for at least 3 years. The 80 participants who did not recover were more likely to be non-compliant with a do-not-return-to-play recommendation (P=.006), with no differences from the recovered group in demographic variables such as age and sex.
Symptoms tended to appear in a predictable order, with later symptoms more likely if earlier symptoms were present. Time to recovery was longer with more symptoms reported, with each additional symptom correlating with about a 20% reduction in the rate of recovery.
“PCS may be permanent if recovery has not occurred by 3 years,” the authors write. “More long-term follow-up studies are needed to examine recovery from PCS.”
Hiploylee C, et al. “Longitudinal Study of Postconcussion Syndrome: Not Everyone Recovers.” Journal of Neurotrauma. 2016. doi:10.1089/neu.2016.4677. [Epub ahead of print]