Focal Cortical Dysfunction and Blood???Brain Barrier Disruption in Patients With Postconcussion Syndrome Academic Article uri icon


  • Postconcussion syndrome (PCS) refers to symptoms and signs commonly occurring after mild head injury. The pathogenesis of PCS is unknown. The authors quantitatively analyzed EEG recordings, localized brain sources for abnormal activity, and correlated it with imaging studies. Data from 17 patients with neurologic symptomatology consistent with ICD-10 criteria for PCS was analyzed. Normalized quantitative EEG (QEEG) revealed significantly higher power in the delta band and lower power in the alpha band compared with matched controls. The generators for the abnormal rhythms were focally localized in neocortical regions. Brain computerized tomography and/or MRI did not reveal focal abnormality at the time of diagnosis. Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) after 9 9 m Tc-ethylcysteinate dimer administration showed a focal reduction in perfusion in 85% (n = 11) of the patients, and abnormal blood-brain barrier (BBB) after 9 9 m Tc-diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid administration in 73% (n = 8). In 75% of these patients, low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography analysis showed that the generators for abnormal rhythms were closely related to the anatomic location of the BBB lesion. These data point to focal cortical dysfunction in conjunction with BBB disruption and hypoperfusion as a possible mechanism of pathogenesis in at least some PCS patients, and offer QEEG and SPECT as important tools in evaluating these patients.

publication date

  • January 1, 2005