How doe legal proceedings affect recovery from postconcussive syndrome (PCS)?

Updated: Jul 25, 2019
  • Author: Roy H Lubit, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Answer

Head injuries often occur in the context of car or workplace accidents, leading to legal proceedings for damages and compensation. The prognosis of mild or moderate dementia and postconcussive syndrome remain difficult to provide with certainty. Some patients recover fully from severe injuries with prolonged coma, others remain disabled for long periods after much milder insults. Moreover, involvement in legal proceedings seems to complicate recovery. Having to repeat the story of an injury to questioners, not knowing what expenses will be incurred and which will be covered by insurance, and proving the reality of impairment without visible scars increase patients' stress and anxiety. Stress seems to slow or impede recovery by both psychological and physiological mechanisms. Malingering also may occur.


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