persistent postconcussion symptoms (PPS) and depression

Last edited 12/2022 and last reviewed 01/2023

Persistent Postconcussion Symptoms and depression

The rate of concussion (or mild traumatic brain injury recovery can vary considerably from one individual to another

  • vast majority fully recover within days to weeks following the injury
  • a minority (ie, 15%-30%) of individuals who experienced a concussion will experience symptoms for months or years following the injury, often referred to as persistent postconcussion symptoms (PPCS)
    • symptoms commonly reported include headaches, fatigue, dizziness, cognitive difficulties, and emotional changes and can significantly impact an individual's everyday functioning

A systematic review and meta-analysis of 18 studies and 9101 participants found that the odds of depressive symptoms were increased 4-fold among individuals who experienced persistent postconcussion symptoms [PPCS]:

  • findings suggest that individuals with PPCS are at risk of experiencing symptoms of depression; postinjury support and interventions targeting mental health are necessary for optimal outcomes (1)


  • Lambert M, Sheldrake E, Deneault A, Wheeler A, Burke M, Scratch S. Depressive Symptoms in Individuals With Persistent Postconcussion Symptoms: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(12):e2248453. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.48453