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Home Health Women More Prone to Concussion's Long-Term Harms

Women More Prone to Concussion’s Long-Term Harms

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 examine finds.

The examine of two,000 concussion victims discovered that girls have been extra doubtless than males to nonetheless have some signs one yr later. The issues included fuzzy reminiscence and problem concentrating, in addition to complications, dizziness or fatigue.

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

The causes are unclear, however the examine isn’t the primary to discover intercourse variations in concussion restoration. Many have discovered that on common, girls enhance extra slowly post-concussion, no matter what brought on the harm.

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

And that was not the case.

It’s an vital discovering, in accordance 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 printed with the examine April 6 within the journal JAMA Network Open.

While the findings may sound dire, most ladies rebound pretty rapidly 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 folks have persistent bodily, psychological or emotional signs, for causes that are not totally clear.

In this examine, girls did have larger charges of despair and nervousness diagnoses earlier than the concussion, in contrast to males. And these are danger elements for extended concussion signs, Anto-Ocrah famous.

However, the researchers accounted for despair and nervousness, and people diagnoses didn’t appear to clarify 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 harm.


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

There’s no repair for the mind harm. But there are methods to handle signs, Anto-Ocrah mentioned. That might imply cognitive remedy for reminiscence or pondering points, or treatment 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 yr, they periodically accomplished customary 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 operate (which means that they had worse signs). The gender hole narrowed over time, as most sufferers improved — however was nonetheless current one yr later.


The examine can’t 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 attainable, he mentioned, that power 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 occasions within the menstrual cycle have a tendency to have a slower restoration.

In this examine, 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 any stable clarification.

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

Future research, Anto-Ocrah mentioned, ought to strive to dig deeper by doing a “hormonal assessment” of feminine concussion sufferers — resembling 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 must be seen with “caution,” and want affirmation in additional research.


More info

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

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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