Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Concussion Syndrome For traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post concussion syndrome (PCS).


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Old 04-25-2013, 04:12 PM #1
Tpont21 Tpont21 is offline
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Default What should I expect with neuropsych testing?

As my appointment with a neuropsych at the Pittsburgh UPMC concussion clinic draws near, I was wondering what sort of testing I can expect to go through? Apparently this is the same facility that treats Pittsburgh professional sports athletes' concussions.

I really have no idea what to expect. Any comments or suggestions?
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I was in a snowboarding accident on January 19, 2013. I caught an edge on my snowboard while carving down the mountain without a helmet. I smacked the back of my head hard on the ground. I was not knocked out and it took about a week for symptoms to come into full effect.

Since my accident I have been in a cycle of feeling better and then relapsing. It has happened many times. Although I think the overall trend is slowly traveling up. My symptoms included headaches, anxiety, sensitivity to light and noise, dizziness, fatigue, confusion, trouble concentrating, brain fog, loss of social interest, irritability, and mood swings.

Many symptoms have since resolved and I am left with slight dizziness, sensitivity to large crowds and busy environments, small amounts of anxiety, and brain fog off and on.

I am currently under the care of a neuropsychologist at the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Clinic. I am also undergoing balance/vestibular physical therapy to help with my remaining symptoms.
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Old 04-25-2013, 04:16 PM #2
Mark in Idaho Mark in Idaho is offline
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You will be put through a battery of tests to check motor control/speed, memory, and a variety of mental processing functions. There is no need to try to prepare for it. They can be 1 hour long or 6 hours or more. It depends on the test objectives.
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Old 04-25-2013, 04:19 PM #3
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I haven't needed this thankfully because I have been cognitively sound.

I understand that it is a battery of tests that can indicate problems or strengths in relation to memory, concentration, attention, planning, organising, cognitive problems, recall speed, problem solving etc. There are probably better people to advise you on here, who have had the tests, good luck with it!
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PCS following head injury November 2012. Experienced dizzyness, light and noise sensitivity, hypercusis, fatigue, insomnia, migraines, facial pain, problems concentrating, irritability, sensory overload, exercise intolerance.

Symptoms mostly resolved, working full time and I am now mostly better. I wake 6am daily since my injury. Was experiencing daily Neuralgia which was controlled with Cymbalta 30mg, Lyrica 200mg daily. Now only on 30mg Cymbalta.
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:11 PM #4
DFayesMom DFayesMom is offline
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Mine Took three hours, I think. There were a bunch of questions, but I know that a place like you're going to will be more thorough than what my insurance allowed for. Sounds like you're going to get some great care, and hopefully it will allow you to identify problem areas. It was a little taxing, but nothing terrible. I did get a little emotional because I was having some trouble remembering things that I thought I should be able to remember, but other than that, it was fine.
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I have recovered my cognitive function, and I've overcome severe vertigo through sensory integration therapy. Wellbutrin has helped me escape depression. I have recently had a few stress-related migraines, as well as headaches stemming from eye strain. I'm also dealing with tinnitus, lack of stamina, extreme light sensitivity, and eye pain. Diagnosed with 9 different vision issues: convergence insufficiency, pursuit eye movement deficit, egocentric visual midline shift, photophobia, visual information processing delays, accommodative insufficiency, saccadic eye movement deficit, lack of coordination, and central peripheral visual integration deficit.

*First concussion: October 2010. I was pregnant and got rear ended. I associated my mild PCS symptoms with baby brain and blamed my light sensitivity on allergies and dry eyes.
*Second concussion: December 2011. I hit my head on a wooden beam, saw stars but did not lose consciousness, and I had very disturbing PCS symptoms but didn't go to the doctor.
*Third concussion: August 2012. I caused a car accident as a result of PCS symptoms. Thankfully no one was injured but me. My husband confronted me, and I finally sought help and took medical leave from work. My symptoms worsened, and I developed severe vertigo.
*Fourth concussion: November 2012. I was riding in a car with a friend and we were hit head on by a driver who lost control of her car. I didn't have a big increase in PCS symptoms.
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Old 04-25-2013, 06:40 PM #5
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Thanks for the responses. I figured it would be a few hours of testing. I too am hoping that I find out a little more about my problem areas.

I've never been to a psychologist let alone a neuropsychologist so it's a little intimidating. But I think this is the best place I will be able to find care for a concussion in the Pittsburgh area.

I'll be sure to let everyone know how it goes!
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I was in a snowboarding accident on January 19, 2013. I caught an edge on my snowboard while carving down the mountain without a helmet. I smacked the back of my head hard on the ground. I was not knocked out and it took about a week for symptoms to come into full effect.

Since my accident I have been in a cycle of feeling better and then relapsing. It has happened many times. Although I think the overall trend is slowly traveling up. My symptoms included headaches, anxiety, sensitivity to light and noise, dizziness, fatigue, confusion, trouble concentrating, brain fog, loss of social interest, irritability, and mood swings.

Many symptoms have since resolved and I am left with slight dizziness, sensitivity to large crowds and busy environments, small amounts of anxiety, and brain fog off and on.

I am currently under the care of a neuropsychologist at the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Clinic. I am also undergoing balance/vestibular physical therapy to help with my remaining symptoms.
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:42 PM #6
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I just had mine done a couple weeks ago and it was a long, tiring day. Plan for the next day or two to be quiet days... in fact, it took me over a week to really feel like I'd recovered from the testing, I was very tired. Slept a lot, almost like I had the flu, without being sick.

Nothing to do to prepare, just try to get a good sleep before, eat your breakfast and go in prepared to do your best at whatever they put in front of you. Know that some of the tests are designed to be difficult and that's ok... its not like a test at school where you are expected to know everything and do everything perfectly.

I was really nervous before mine too... but really, its ok... the person giving the test was very understanding and it didn't feel like a judgmental environment or anything like that.

Just breathe ... that was my motto of the day

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Old 04-26-2013, 06:53 PM #7
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I did mine ten days ago. It was about five hours long. It was very interesting to see that on parts of the tests I couldn't answer a single problem and on other ares I did just fine.

Someone...maybe Starr?...posted her results a few days back and just reading through that would give you a good idea of what you are going to be doing during the test. She also posted the recommendations that were given. That is what I am also looking forward to reading next week. I need more help with work arounds.

Also, eat a decent meal before the test. That is a long time to go without eating.
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Slipped in puddle and fell. 10/6/12. Whiplash and concussion. 48 years old.
Dizzy, balance, vision, taste, sound, light, cognitive, headaches, foggy, head pressure , irritability,....
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Old 04-27-2013, 04:21 PM #8
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My husband had one a few months ago. It was a lot of face-to-face talking, filling out questionnaires and computer tests. The doctor that tested him was very thorough and it took weeks to get any results which was very frustrating. We ended up with a 20 page written report that is kind of hard to read but very informative and clear. I have to say the doctor nailed it because it explains all the problems we have been going through. We didn't get good recommendations though-which we should have.
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