What are the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for postconcussive syndrome (PCS)?

Updated: Jul 25, 2019
  • Author: Roy H Lubit, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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According to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), postconcussive syndrome is given a diagnosis of either major or mild neurocognitive disorder (NCD) due to traumatic brain injury TBI. The specific DSM-5 criteria for neurocognitive disorder (NCD) due to traumatic brain injury are as follows: [10]

  1. The criteria are met for major or mild neurocognitive disorder (decline in cognitive ability: memory, concentration, processing speed).

  2. There is evidence of a traumatic brain injury - that is, an impact to the head or other mechanisms of rapid movement or displacement of the brain within the skull, with one or more of the following:

    • Loss of consciousness

    • Posttraumatic amnesia

    • Disorientation and confusion

    • Neurological signs (e.g., neuroimaging demonstrating injury; a new onset of seizures; a morked worsening of a preexisting seizure disorder; visual field cuts; anosmia; hemiparesis).

  3. The neurocognitive disorder presents immediately after the occurrence of the traumatic brain injury or immediately after recovery of consciousness and persists past the acute post-injury period.

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