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Head & Traumatic Brain Injury Community
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traumatic brain injury symptoms worsening

Hi
Fourteen months ago I was a vehicle collision and sustained a TBI. My GSC was 15.  I have suffered from headache, fatigue, short term memory loss, personality changes, angry outbursts, difficulty in social situations, dizziness, loss of balance, occasional blurred vision, tinnitus, etc.  Lately, over the past few weeks, I have noticed that these symptoms seem to be getting worse.  Is it normal for symptoms to worsen so long after the injury?  Is there anything I can do to help reverse the trend?
Thank you
6 Responses
557119 tn?1225279413
Get a brain MRI asap. You might have had a stroke, TIA, or damage to the small vessels in your brain. It could also be damage to your vestibular system, or vestibulo-ocular reflex.  I have been through what you just described for the past 8 1/2 years.  It's important to take charge of your own health sometimes! I had to, in order to find what was really going on with me.  I had severe head trauma and also prior to that had been involved in an MVA where I got a broken neck resulting in a spinal fusion C2-6.  Best wishes.
Avatar universal
Hi.  Thanks for your response.  I did go to a neurologist a few months after the MVA, but he didn't take me seriously.  I had a CT of my head which showed everything was normal.  It isn't that easy to get a MRI where I live.  The wait is about six months to a year.  I will persist with my family doc and see if I can get him to refer me to someone else.  Thanks for the advice.
Avatar universal
Hi

There is a condition called post-concussion syndrome or PCS that a person may experience for weeks, months, or occasionally years after a concussion or even in moderate and severe cases of traumatic brain injury. It is seen in 38–80% of mild head injuries.

A diagnosis may be made when symptoms last for more than three months after the injury, or it may be made starting within a week or ten days of trauma. In late, persistent, or prolonged PCS, symptoms last for over six months, or by other standards, three.

The nature of the symptoms tends to change over time. They are most commonly of a physical nature following the injury, but tend to become predominantly psychological later.

The physical symptoms include headache; cognitive symptoms are difficulty concentrating; and emotional and behavioral include irritability. Signs and symptoms such as noise sensitivity, problems with concentration and memory, irritability, depression, anxiety, fatigue, and poor judgment may be called 'late symptoms' as they appear days or weeks after injury.

The prognosis is generally excellent, with total resolution of symptoms within a few days to several weeks or until six months. It is only in a small minority of people, that the symptoms may persist for years or be permanent. It is very rare that permanent neurological symptoms result from an uncomplicated concussion.  

Take care

Avatar universal
Hello.  Thank you for the information.  It is very interesting, as I have never heard of PCS before.  Since I originally posted, I have received a neurologists report that says I have damage to the first three cervical vertebrae, damage to the greater occipital nerve, and he recommends an MRI to rule out other things such as syrinx, herniated disc, etc.  I imagine it will take months to get an MRI, if ever.  It is hard to distinguish what all the symptoms are from exactly, but it helps to get any information available to research and try to figure it out for myself.
690742 tn?1279046538
I had the same thing in Summer of 2005. I was playing basketball, and I hit my hit head after fainting from heat exhaustion. After two days this wave of illness came over me, and I got everything you are describing. Low grade headache that never leaves, irritability, anxiety, clicking noises in the ear (palatal myoclonus), etc. Does it feel like a pressure headache or a problem with your ears? I've been dealing with the symptoms non-stop for three years, because my situation has been so perplexing, but I'm finally getting to see a psychiatrist. I advise you do the same. The first time I started effexor all my symptoms went away, but they came back quickly. You probably need to be treated for depression. You may be deceived about the illness right now, but as you only get worse you'll see that its highly probable that I am right. Depression is like a wave that hits you, a fever, and it just sticks around until its treated.

Depression usually follows a mild TBI as well. Good luck.
Avatar universal
You are quite right about depression.  I have been seeing a psychologist since last year, and I have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder as well as PTSD.  The headache is a combination of migraine, and ear pain associated with TMJ, along with sinus infection.  Aren't I lucky?  I've got it all!  I have also been told by a neurologist that I have damage to the first three cervical vertebrae and the greater occipital nerve.  These diagnoses are all very recent and I haven't investigated them thoroughly yet.  I keep getting assessed by medical professionals that my lawyer sends me to, but nobody actually treats me or helps me in any way.  I guess it's up to me.  Thanks for your input.
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