Persistent postconcussion symptoms and depression


Dr Veena Aggarwal, Consultant Womens’ Health, CMD and Editor-in-Chief, IJCP Group & Medtalks Trustee, Dr KK’s Heart Care Foundation of India    08 January 2023

The risk of experiencing depressive symptoms is increased 4-folds among patients with persistent postconcussion symptoms, according to a study reported December 27, 2022 in JAMA Network Open.1


A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted to determine the association between depressive symptoms and persistent postconcussion symptoms. A total of 18 studies involving 9101 participants with either self-reported or physician-diagnosed concussion were included in the meta-analysis after comprehensive search of Ovid Medline, CINAHL, PsycInfo, and Embase databases from 1995 to January 2022. Majority (72%) of the subjects were adults. The mean duration since the incident of concussion was 21.3 weeks. Analysis showed that patients with persistent postconcussion symptoms were 4 times more likely to develop symptoms of depression with odds ratio of 4.56.


This study highlights the correlation between postconcussion symptoms lasting for at least 4 weeks following the injury and depressive symptoms. However, it does not show any causality. Patients with a history of concussion should be closely monitored for development of depressive symptoms. “These findings support the need for mental health interventions in concussion rehabilitation”, write the authors. Timely intervention may improve mental health of the patient.  




  1. Lambert M, et al. Depressive symptoms in individuals with persistent postconcussion symptoms: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Dec 1;5(12):e2248453. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.48453.

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