This study examined postconcussion-like symptoms in a group of university students and explored their relationships to neuropsychological function performance. A sample of 124 students was recruited. All of the participants received the Rivermead Post-Concussion Symptoms Questionnaire (RPQ) and completed a comprehensive set of neuropsychological tests. They reported a relatively high base rate of postconcussion-like symptoms. The most frequently endorsed items were “fatigue” (76.9%), “longer time to think” (60.3%), “poor concentration” (58.7%), “sleep disturbance” (50.4%), and “frustration” (46.3%). There were no significant differences between low symptom reporters and high symptom reporters, except for self-reported dysexecutive problems. A comparison of the healthy high symptom reporters and a convenient sample of traumatic brain injury patients revealed that the patients performed significantly worse on neuropsychological functions than the high symptom reporters, despite non-significant differences between symptom endorsement. Our findings demonstrate that: (a) the base rate of postconcussion-like symptoms in a group of healthy university students is relatively high and (b) postconcussion symptom (PCS) is not related to neuropsychological functions in normal people.

Author notes

Part of the present findings was presented at the INS Dublin Conference, July 6–9, 2005.