FAQs About Post-Concussion Syndrome

My concussion was weeks ago! Why don't I feel better yet?

Concussions usually resolve without medical treatment within one to six weeks. Some people continue to feel the effects of the injury for longer than that, a condition known as post-concussion syndrome. Neuropsychologists can identify post-concussion difficulties that require intervention, along with the appropriate treatments. Find out more about Post-Concussion Syndrome.

What is the treatment for post-concussion syndrome (PCS)?

Treatment plans are as individual as you are, but neuropsychologists commonly use a technique called cognitive remediation to treat lingering problems with attention and memory in those with post-concussion syndrome (PCS). Research has indicated that cognitive remediation interventions that target problems of memory, processing speed, and attention lead to significant improvements in brain-injured populations. Also, cognitive behavioral therapy can help with the emotional aspects of PCS including increased irritability, difficulty with relationships and feeling anxious and low. More about Post-concussion Syndrome

What factors contribute to persisting concussion symptoms weeks or months after the injury?

Sometimes individuals with pre-existing conditions such as migraines, ADD, ADHD, learning disabilities and depression or anxiety can take longer to recover.  Symptoms within weeks of having a concussion can mimic attention deficit or depression.  Other pre-existing conditions that contribute to prolonged recovery include drug or alcohol abuse, poor diet and perhaps certain genetic mutations.

Sometimes people in our lives contribute to ongoing discomfort; they might do too much for you or not enough in your time of need.  Sometimes regular life stressors such as moving, losing a job or a relationship around the time of an injury can increase recovery time.  Additionally, sometimes people can behave in such a way that maintains disability such as completely avoiding activities they used to do; even as symptoms may start to improve.  Avoiding all activity for prolonged amounts of time is viewed as maintaining a “sick role”.  We call this a biopsychosocial phenomena meaning that biological processes interact with psychological and social functioning. 

More about Concussion and  Post-concussion Syndrome

Our Care Team

  • Clinical Neuropsychologist
  • Associate Professor of Neuropsychology in Neurological Surgery
Phone: 212-746-3356

Reviewed by: Amanda Sacks-Zimmerman, PhD Last reviewed/last updated: September 2020

Weill Cornell Medicine Neurological Surgery 525 East 68 Street, Box 99 New York, NY 10065 Phone: 866-426-7787