Research Reports - Highlighting the differences in post-traumatic symptoms between patients with complicated and uncomplicated mild traumatic brain injury

Brain Inj. 2017 Aug 17:1-10. doi: 10.1080/02699052.2017.1346289. [Epub ahead of

Julien J(1)(2), Tinawi S(3), Anderson K(1)(2), Frenette LC(1)(2), Audrit H(1)(2),
Ferland MC(1)(2), Feyz M(3), De Guise E(1)(2)(4).

OBJECTIVE: The goal of the current study is to explore the difference in acute
post-concussive symptoms (PCS), headaches, sleep and mood complaints between
groups of patients with complicated and uncomplicated mild traumatic brain
injuries (mTBIs) and a comparable group of injured controls. Interactions among
the following four factors were studied: presence of (1) PCS; (2) headaches; (3)
sleep disorders; and (4) psychological status.
METHODS: A total of 198 patients, followed at the outpatient mTBI clinic of the
MUHC-MGH, completed questionnaires and a brief neurological assessment two weeks
RESULTS: Whether they had a TBI or not, all patients presented PCS, headaches,
sleep and mood complaints. No significant differences between groups in terms of
reported symptoms were found. Variables such as depression and anxiety symptoms,
as well as sleep difficulties and headaches were found to correlate with PCS. The
high rate of PCS in trauma patients was observed independently of traumatic brain
injury status. This study has also shown that patients with complicated mTBI were
more likely to have vestibular impairment after their injury.
CONCLUSION: The vestibular function should be assessed systematically after a
complicated mTBI. Furthermore, the mTBI diagnosis should be based on operational
criteria, and not on reported symptoms. 

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