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Post Concussion Syndrome
November 2001

Q. I had a head injury in July, 1998. I hit my head on the windshield and I now have what my doctor calls "Post Concussion Syndrome". I have headaches, seizures, and really bad problems with dizziness and motion sickness to the point that I get sick and throw up. Out of these problems, I have the hardest time with the motion sickness.

I started having problems with seizures about a month after the accident. Most of the time it's just Petit mal seizures where I get that "dazed and spaced out" look and I don't respond when someone tries to talk to me. I have had two normal EEGs and last month I had a two-day EEG where they sent me home with a portable computer. This EEG also was normal. How do I prove to Social Security that I have seizures when my EEGs keep coming back as normal? Do other people have normal EEGs even though they have seizures? I only have a few seizures a month and they don't seem to happen when I am having an EEG.

A. A concussion can result from any blow to the head, with or without loss of consciousness. A variety of symptoms can persist after the injury, leading to the term post-concussion syndrome. These can certainly last for weeks or months, but it would be uncommon to last for 3 years as you describe unless there was some tissue damage. I would continue under the care of a neurologist for evaluation and treatment. The EEG test monitors brain electrical activity but does not clarify brain structure. Although you do not mention it, I would think a MRI has been done to examine the brain's anatomy as well.

WEB REFERENCES:

http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/tbi/

http://www.familydoctor.org/healthfacts/084/

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/health_and_medical/disorders/tbi_doc.htm

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