Date of Graduation

8-14-2010

Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Mark Pedemonte, MD

Second Advisor

Annjanette Sommers MS, PAC

Third Advisor

Rob Rosenow PharmD, OD

Abstract

Background: Mild traumatic brain injury with postconcussion syndromes may be correlated with long term cognitive deficits. While 1.7 million traumatic brain injuries are reported each year, this number does not account for the many mild traumatic brain injuries that are not reported each year.

Methods: Exhaustive search of available medical literature using the search engines: OVID, CINAHL, Entrez, and UpToDate. Keywords used were Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, Cognitive Disorders, Psychological Disorders, Neurological Disorders, and Postconcussion Syndrome.

Results: The four articles that remained, presented vastly different conclusions as to the long term cognitive effects of traumatic brain injuries. One widely publicized article by Hoge et al9determined that mild traumatic brain injury posed no significant adverse health effects except headache. Another study conducted by De Beaumont et al found that there were cognitive dysfunction 30 years after the last mild traumatic brain injury event had occurred.

Conclusion: Mild traumatic brain injuries do have a direct correlation with cognitive deficits. Post traumatic stress disorder and depression may mask the symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury with postconcussion syndrome and thereby making the diagnoses of this condition difficult. If nationwide and global trends continue, there will be an increase of patients on the very near future.In order to best serve the public it will be necessary to do additional research on how to accurately assess, diagnose, and treat.

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