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J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 1999 Oct;21(5):620-8.

Persistent Post-Concussive Syndrome: A proposed methodology and literature review to determine the effects, if any, of mild head and other bodily injury.

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  • 1Neuropsychology Division, Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


Following mild head injury, a subgroup of individuals exhibit a constellation of chronic symptoms, a condition Alexander (1995) labeled Persistent Post-Concussive Syndrome (PPCS). He implicated neurological factors in the initial phase of the syndrome but psychological factors in the maintenance of symptoms. However, it is unclear as to whether an initial mild head injury is necessary or sufficient to cause the symptoms of PPCS. We first outline a study design comparing a mild closed-head injury group to both a normal and an other injury control group to answer this question. Next, we review the literature since 1960 to determine the findings of any studies using this design. The results of the literature review indicate that few such studies exist. To date, those that have been done suggest that there is no strong evidence for a specific effect for mild head injury on cognitive functioning. We discuss directions for future research given these findings.

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