Girls Extra Vulnerable to Concussion’s Lengthy-Time period Harms

By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter

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

The research of two,000 concussion victims discovered that girls have been extra seemingly 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, ladies and men confirmed related restoration instances after traumatic accidents to different areas of the physique.

The explanations are unclear, however the research is just not the primary to seek out intercourse variations in concussion restoration. Many have discovered that on common, ladies enhance extra slowly post-concussion, no matter what triggered the harm.

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

And that was not the case.

It is an vital discovering, in line with Martina Anto-Ocrah, an assistant professor of emergency medication and neurology on the College of Rochester Medical Heart.


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 research April 6 within the journal JAMA Community Open.

Whereas the findings may sound dire, most ladies 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.

However some folks have persistent bodily, psychological or emotional signs, for causes that are not totally clear.

On this research, ladies did have increased charges of melancholy and nervousness diagnoses earlier than the concussion, in comparison with males. And people are threat elements for extended concussion signs, Anto-Ocrah famous.

Nevertheless, the researchers accounted for melancholy and nervousness, and people diagnoses didn’t appear to elucidate ladies’s extra persistent signs.

Whatever the trigger, the findings provide validation. Some ladies, 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 is no repair for the mind harm. However there are methods to handle signs, Anto-Ocrah mentioned. That might imply cognitive remedy for reminiscence or considering points, or medicine for issues like persistent complications.

If ladies 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 steered.

The findings are based mostly 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 commonplace questionnaires on bodily, psychological and emotional signs, as indicators of post-traumatic stress dysfunction (PTSD).

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


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

It is attainable, he mentioned, that persistent irritation within the mind tissue or hormonal influences play some position.

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 inclined to have a slower restoration.

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

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

It is attainable, she speculated, that it indicators a hormonal impact, since ladies 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 — corresponding 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 seen with “caution,” and wish affirmation in additional research.


Extra info

The U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention has extra on concussion restoration.

SOURCES: Harvey Levin, PhD, professor, bodily medication and rehabilitation, Baylor School of Drugs, Houston; Martina Anto-Ocrah, PhD, MPH, assistant professor, emergency medication, neurology, and obstetrics and gynecology, College of Rochester Medical Heart, Rochester, N.Y.; JAMA Community Open, April 6, 2021, on-line

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