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.

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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]

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