Patients with head injuries frequently complain of a decreased ability to endure intense light and sound stimuli. The few psychophysical studies that have objectively studied this type of hyperaesthesia have not assessed to what extent patients recover from this hyperaesthesia after mild head injury (MHI). A computerised rating technique was used to assess tolerance to intense sound (95 dB) and light (1500 lux) stimuli in patients with an uncomplicated MHI. Patients were tested 10 days and five weeks after the injury. Although most patients substantially recovered from both visual and acoustic hyperaesthesia, 25% of the patients were still not able to endure intense stimuli by five weeks. Analysis of data obtained with two behavioural rating scales (one with post-concussive/cognitive complaints and a second with emotional/vegetative complaints) indicated that visual hyperaesthesia was specifically related to the post-concussive/cognitive complaints scale.
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