Women More Prone to Concussion’s Long-Term Harms

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By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, April 8, 2021 (HealthDay News) — After a concussion, girls could also be at heightened danger of lasting bodily and psychological signs, a brand new research finds.

The research of two,000 concussion victims discovered that girls have been extra possible than males to nonetheless have some signs one 12 months later. The issues included fuzzy reminiscence and issue concentrating, in addition to headaches, dizziness or fatigue.

In distinction, ladies and men confirmed related restoration instances after traumatic accidents to different areas of the physique.

The causes are unclear, however the research isn’t the primary to seek out intercourse variations in concussion restoration. Many have discovered that on common, girls enhance extra slowly post-concussion, no matter what precipitated the damage.

But the brand new research additionally included a “control” group of people that had suffered orthopedic accidents, to see whether or not girls tended to get better extra slowly from accidents on the whole.

And that was not the case.

It’s an necessary discovering, in response to Martina Anto-Ocrah, an assistant professor of emergency drugs and neurology on the University of Rochester Medical Center.


She mentioned it strengthens the case that girls’s slower restoration is said to concussion, particularly.

Anto-Ocrah co-wrote an editorial revealed with the research April 6 within the journal JAMA Network Open.

While the findings may sound dire, most girls rebound pretty shortly after a concussion.

“We expect most patients to recover within weeks,” Anto-Ocrah mentioned, noting that about 90% are again on observe inside three months.

But some individuals have persistent bodily, psychological or emotional signs, for causes that are not absolutely clear.

In this research, girls did have larger charges of depression and anxiety diagnoses earlier than the concussion, in comparison with males. And these are danger components for extended concussion symptoms, Anto-Ocrah famous.

However, the researchers accounted for despair and anxiousness, and people diagnoses didn’t appear to elucidate girls’s extra persistent signs.

Regardless of the trigger, the findings provide validation. Some girls, Anto-Ocrah famous, encounter skepticism once they inform their physician they’re nonetheless having concussion signs many months after the damage.


“This is additional proof that it’s not all in your head,” she mentioned.

There’s no repair for the brain damage. But there are methods to handle signs, Anto-Ocrah mentioned. That may imply cognitive remedy for reminiscence or considering points, or medicine for issues like persistent complications.

If girls really feel their lingering signs are being dismissed, she urged them to “be persistent” in getting the care they want.

“You could show your provider this study,” Anto-Ocrah recommended.

The findings are primarily based on 2,000 concussion sufferers and 299 with orthopedic accidents who have been handled at any of 18 U.S. hospitals.

Over one 12 months, they periodically accomplished commonplace questionnaires on bodily, psychological and emotional signs, as indicators of post-traumatic stress dysfunction (PTSD).

On common, feminine concussion sufferers scored larger than their male counterparts on the measures of bodily and psychological perform (which means they’d worse signs). The gender hole narrowed over time, as most sufferers improved — however was nonetheless current one 12 months later.


The research can not reply the query of why, mentioned lead researcher Harvey Levin, a professor of bodily drugs and rehabilitation at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

It’s doable, he mentioned, that persistent irritation within the mind tissue or hormonal influences play some function.

The mind has receptors for estrogen, and a few analysis has hinted that girls who maintain a concussion at sure instances within the menstrual cycle are likely to have a slower restoration.

In this research, girls between the ages of 35 and 49 usually had worse signs than each youthful and older girls.

Anto-Ocrah known as the discovering “fascinating,” although there isn’t a strong clarification.

It’s doable, she speculated, that it indicators a hormonal impact, since girls in that age vary are nearing menopause.

Future research, Anto-Ocrah mentioned, ought to attempt to dig deeper by doing a “hormonal assessment” of feminine concussion sufferers — similar to whether or not they have been utilizing hormonal contraception, had reached menopause, or have been on menopausal hormone remedy.

For now, Levin mentioned the findings on age ought to be considered with “caution,” and want affirmation in additional research.


More info

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has extra on concussion recovery.

SOURCES: Harvey Levin, PhD, professor, bodily drugs and rehabilitation, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston; Martina Anto-Ocrah, PhD, MPH, assistant professor, emergency drugs, neurology, and obstetrics and gynecology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, N.Y.; JAMA Network Open, April 6, 2021, on-line

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