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Postconcussion Syndrome

  1. Eric P. Spiegel1,
  2. Rodney D. Vanderploeg2,3

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0696

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Spiegel, E. P. and Vanderploeg, R. D. 2010. Postconcussion Syndrome. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. 1

    James A. Haley VAMC, Tampa, FL

  2. 2

    James A. Haley VAMC, Tampa, FL

  3. 3

    University of South Florida

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


A concussion is a physiological disruption of brain function as a result of an external force to the head resulting in a loss or alteration of consciousness. Immediate postinjury objective signs of concussion are a person being dazed, confused, and disoriented, new onset of feeling nauseous or throwing up, or a period of loss of consciousness. Other postconcussion signs may include brief neurological impairments such as not being able to stand, walk, or converse sensibly immediately afterward. Acute subjective symptoms of concussion include feeling lightheaded, “seeing stars,” having blurred vision, headaches, or experiencing ringing in the ears. Postconcussion syndrome (PCS), as the name suggests, is a characteristic complex of subjective symptoms that occurs subsequent to a concussion. In the vast majority of individuals these symptoms resolve within a time period ranging from minutes to 24–72 hours. Although some symptoms may last for days, approximately 90 percent or more of individuals who sustain a concussion are asymptomatic within a couple of weeks.


  • postconcussion syndrome (PCS);
  • mild traumatic brain injury (mild TBI);
  • concussion