Post-Concussive Syndrome: a Focus on Post-Traumatic Headache and Related Cognitive, Psychiatric, and Sleep Issues

  • Mia T Minen
  • Alexandra Boubour
  • Harjasleen Walia
  • William Barr
Headache (RB Halker, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Headache


Purpose of Review

Post-traumatic headache (PTH) is a secondary headache disorder following traumatic brain injury. We sought to examine the recent literature on PTH and associated cognitive, psychiatric, and sleep conditions to understand the latest findings about the associated conditions and available screening tools, and to understand the available treatment options for PTH.

Recent Findings

Up to one third of PTH patients may have depression and about one quarter may have insomnia. Anxiety and cognitive issues are also common. While there are few studies examining abortive medications for PTH, recent studies of preventive medications examine the efficacy of topiramate, and topiramate may be better than other oral preventive medications. Other currently investigated treatments include nerve blocks, onabotulinum toxin A, transmagnetic stimulation, and behavioral therapy (biofeedback).


Due to an expanded focus on and knowledge of concussion and PTH, comorbid psychiatric, cognitive, and sleep issues have become more widely acknowledged and studied. However, more high-quality studies must be conducted to examine the underlying pathophysiology of PTH and associated symptoms and to determine the most effective abortive and preventive treatment options.


Post-concussive syndrome (PCS) Post-traumatic headache (PTH) Neuropsychiatry Sleep Cognitive changes Traumatic brain injury Post-traumatic headache (PTH) treatment 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Mia Minen and Alexandra Boubour declare that they have no conflict of interests. Harjasleen Walia has a patent pending for Concussion Impact Sensor. William Barr was an expert witness consultation on medicolegal cases.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mia T Minen
    • 1
  • Alexandra Boubour
    • 2
  • Harjasleen Walia
    • 1
  • William Barr
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyNYU Langone Medical CenterNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Barnard CollegeColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of NeuropsychologyNYU Langone Medical CenterNew YorkUSA

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