Electrophysiological indices of persistent post-concussion symptoms

Brain Inj. 2000 Sep;14(9):815-32. doi: 10.1080/026990500421921.


Mild head injuries (MHI) including concussion were once considered transient alterations of function that resulted in no long-term structural or functional effects. This opinion has changed somewhat in recent years, based on the scientific evidence and popular cases in the media that suggest MHI can result in damage that can, in some cases, lead to long-term cognitive sequelae.

Purpose and methods: An EP/ERP assessment battery is presented as a method for detecting changes in brain function that form the organic basis of persistent post-concussion symptoms (PCS). The primary focus of the paper was directed towards using this battery to determine whether or not brain function in individuals with persistent PCS was different than responses of individuals that comprised a nomative database.

Results: Visual and auditory ERPs and visual EPs were beyond a 2.5 standard deviation normal limit in young and older groups of individuals with persistent post-concussion symptoms.

Conclusions: Evidence of changes in brain function in individuals with persistent post-concussion symptoms is consistent with the position that the post-concussion syndrome has a substantial biological, as opposed to a psychological, basis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Concussion / diagnosis*
  • Brain Concussion / physiopathology*
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory / physiology*
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory, Brain Stem
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Time Factors