Post Concussive Syndrome/Traumatic Brain Injury (Closed Head Injury)

TBIPost concussive syndrome (PCS)/traumatic brain injury (TBI) result from external mechanical force applied to the head and its contents, leading to temporary or permanent cognitive, functional and/or or psychosocial impairments. The trauma (compressive, tensile, shearing) damages the brain and/or surrounding tissues. The most common symptoms after a closed head injury are memory loss, mood change and attention deficit; these may be accompanied by headache, dizziness, impaired balance, trouble performing cognitive task/abstract thinking, fatigue, sleep disturbance, and/or irritability/anxiety/depression/sudden mood swings. When symptoms resolve, they usually do so by 6 months; when they persist beyond 18 months, they may prove permanent. Impairment severity varies from very mild (not impacting function) to severe (resulting in unemployment and/or relationship dysfunction).

It is suspected that microscopic injury alters certain of the brain’s electrical impulses and chemicals (depending upon site and severity of the injury). Because the brain is the “master controller” for much of the body’s physiology, subsequent hormonal and autonomic nervous system dysfunctions may accompany the central nervous system’s neurologic problems.

Since MRI/current technology does not perceive microscopic changes, PCS /TBI is primarily diagnosed by symptoms. There are various definitions/rating scales for PCS/TBI: these neuro-psychological testing criteria can help diagnose, assess personal safety and monitor improvement. Since the often subtle symptoms PCS/TBI require time to manifest, those providers who care for PCS/TBI patients after hospital discharge (or for those with a history of repeated head trauma even without concussion) must maintain a high index of suspicion for PCS/TBI, listen carefully to family reports of symptoms/behaviors, and be familiar with community resources such as TBI clinics and neurological rehabilitation/neurofeedback centers that may help manage physical, cognitive (especially memory) and behavior/emotional complications.[1]

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) defines PCS/TBI as “Blood Stasis” and “Qi Stagnation” later accompanied by “Phlegm accumulation in the “Heart Orifice” (brain). “Kidney/Jing Deficiency,” overall debility, accompanies old injuries. TCM views the brain the ultimate “central processing unit” and command center for all body physiologic process. PCS/TBI “knocks out” some control functions (emotional outbursts) and “breaks, re-arranges or slows down” the “wires” communicating to and from the brain (CPU). Chinese Herbal Medicine attempts to directly “disperse” the “stagnant Blood and Qi” impeding central nervous system functioning. Acupuncture and Neurological Scalp Acupuncture can greatly impact pain, movement, dizziness, emotional and attention/concentration issues following PCS/TBI. Jason Hao, DOM, one of the refiners of Neurological Scalp Acupuncture, finds 80 percent of post-concussive patients he treats report symptom improvement over 6 to 12 treatments—far fewer sessions than body/ear acupuncture alone require.[4, pg. 220] The combination of herbal and acupuncture interventions can address recent and past injuries. The more recent and less severe the injury, the more likely and more rapidly improvement may occur. Improvements tend to be sustained, unless reinjury occurs.[2 3 4]

Neurological Conditions Testimonials

Learn more about Post Concussive Syndrome/Traumatic Brain Injury
Learn more about Traumatic Brain Injury
Learn more about Post Concussive Syndrome


These brief overviews of conditions represent distillations of basic and current medical reviews from the following sources:

[1] Conventional Medical Sources

“Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine: Volumes 1 and 2, 18th Edition”. Dan Longo Anthony Fauci, Dennis Kasper, Stephen Hauser, J. Jameson, Joseph Loscalzo. McGraw-Hill Professional; (July, 2011)

Medscape eMedicine Physician’s online resource. Various review articles:

Complex Regional Pain Syndromes Treatment & Management.
Anthony H Wheeler MD. Medscape Reference Chief Editor: Stephen A Beman, MD PhD MBA.

Essential Tremor
Deborah A Burke, MD Clinician, Sub-Investigator, Movement Disorder/Parkinson’s Disease Center, University of South Florida College of Medicine; Investigator, Physician, Roskamp Institute Memory Clinic

Bell Palsy
Danette C Taylor, DO, MS Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology and Ophthalmology, Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine; Senior Staff Neurologist, Henry Ford Health Systems

Meniere Disease (Idiopathic Endolymphatic Hydrops)
John C Li, MD Private Practice in Otology and Neurology; Medical Director, Balance Center

Restless Legs Syndrome
Ali M Bozorg, MD  Assistant Professor, Comprehensive Epilepsy Program, Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery, University of South Florida College of Medicine

Postherpetic Neuralgia
W Alvin McElveen, MD  Director, Stroke Unit, Lakewood Ranch Medical Center; Neurologist, Manatee Memorial Hospital

Sleep disorders
Roy H Lubit, MD, PhD  Assistant Clinical Professor, Mount Sinai School of Medicine; Clinical Faculty, Department of Child Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine; Private Practice

Aaron G Benson, MD  Director, Ohio Hearing and Balance Institute, Maumee, Ohio; Consulting Staff, Toledo Ear, Nose and Throat, Inc

Multiple Sclerosis
Christopher Luzzio, MD  Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, University of Wisconsin at Madison School of Medicine and Public Health

Parkinson Disease
Robert A Hauser, MD, MBA  Professor of Neurology, Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology, Director, USF Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center, National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence, Byrd Institute, Clinical Chair, Signature Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience, University of South Florida College of Medicine

Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorders
William C Robertson Jr, MD  Professor, Departments of Neurology, Pediatrics, and Family Practice, Clinical Title Series, University of Kentucky College of Medicine

Post Concussive Syndrome
Roy H Lubit, MD, PhD  Assistant Clinical Professor, Mount Sinai School of Medicine; Clinical Faculty, Department of Child Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine; Private Practice

Traumatic Brain Injury
Segun T Dawodu, MD, JD, MBA, LLM, FAAPMR, FAANEM  Associate Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine and Interventional Pain Medicine, Albany Medical College

Dizziness, Vertigo, Imbalance
Hesham M Samy, MD, PhD  Head of Hearing and Balance Unit, Otolaryngology Department, Minia University, Egypt

CNS Causes of Vertigo
Marcelo B Antunes, MD  Resident Physician, Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Pennsylvania Health System

Communication Disorders
Renee S Melfi, MD  Consulting Staff, Orthopaedic Associates of Central New York

[2], [3]

  • “Acupuncture Energetics: A Clinical Approach for Physicians”. Joseph M. Helms. Medical Acupuncture Publishers; 1st Edition. (1995)
  • “Foundations of Chinese Medicine: A Comprehensive Text for Acupuncturists and Herbalists”. Giovanni Maciocia. Churchill Livingstone; 2 Edition (July, 2005).
  • “Diagnosis in Chinese Medicine: A Comprehensive Guide”. Giovanni Maciocia. Churchill Livingstone; 1st Edition (January, 2004).

Chinese Scalp Acupuncture”. Jason Ji-shun Hao, Linda Ling-zhi Hao and Honora Lee Wolfe. Blue Poppy Press; 1st Edition. (November, 2011)