Concussion frequently co-occurs with PTS (post-traumatic stress) in this population.

So when evaluating a patient for concussion, consider the possibility that your patient may have PTS, or PTS and concussion. If your patient has PTS (with or without concussion), making the diagnosis is valuable because evidence-based treatments are available.

Here is a brief overview of post-traumatic stress treatments from the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury.

The signs and symptoms of concussion and PTS overlap considerably, so use the graphic below to learn the symptoms that can help you discriminate between concussion and post-traumatic stress for patients who have only one or the other. A printable version of this graphic is available for download here.

Reference: Stein MB, McCallister TW (2009). Exploring the convergence of post-traumatic stress disorder and mild traumatic brain injury. Am J Psychiatry; 166:766-776.

Regardless of the cause of the symptoms, treating the symptoms themselves is the right approach.


The BrainLine Treatment Hub lists available and soon-to-be-available treatments for TBI and PTSD and how to find them. Go to The Treatment Hub.