Posttraumatic headache

Bert B. Vargas, David W. Dodick

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Posttraumatic headache (PTH) is a commonly occurring and potentially disabling consequence of concussion and mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). This brief review highlights recent advances in the epidemiology, evaluation, and management of concussion, mTBI, and PTH. Recent Findings: Current epidemiological studies suggest that previous estimates of concussion and mTBI incidence are grossly underestimated and have also helped to identify specific activities and demographic groups that might be more susceptible. Concussion results in profound metabolic derangements during which the brain is potentially vulnerable to repeat injury and permanent damage. Imaging studies such as magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopy and diffusion tensor imaging have proven to be effective at identifying these abnormalities both acutely and also weeks after symptoms resolution. To date, there have been no randomized, placebo-controlled studies supporting the efficacy of any treatment for PTH and current therapeutic decisions are guided only by expert opinion and current evidence-based guidelines for the treatment of specific primary headache phenotypes, the most commonly occurring of which is migraine. Summary: Despite numerous advances in the awareness, pathophysiology, and diagnostic workup of concussion, mTBI, and PTH, there is a paucity of evidence-based guidance regarding treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-289
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent opinion in neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Concussion
  • Mild traumatic brain injury
  • Posttraumatic headache

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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