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Symptoms from sports-related concussions differ based on gender


Sports participation is a popular pastime for males and females in Newton and across the state. While some sports are considered to be riskier than others for the possibility of brain injury due to the contact-based nature of them, other sports can be just as dangerous. In short, it's not just football that can might cause brain damage and high medical expenses. With men and women taking part in numerous different sports, it's unavoidable that injuries will happen to both genders. Understanding how certain issues like concussions affect men and women differently is important to treating it and knowing if someone's negligence contributed to its aftereffects.

New information is indicative that the symptoms of concussions from sports might cause greater severity of symptoms and worse results in cognitive tests for women than in males. The study was conducted by the University of Michigan and examined 148 college athletes from schools that participate in Division I athletics. They took part in 11 different sports and then were part of the National Sport Concussion Outcome Study. Of those 148, 67 were women. Fifty-one percent of them were playing a contact sport. Twenty-four percent had concussions linked to sports in their past. On average, they had 0.32 concussions.

The majority -- 78 percent -- had one concussion-type injury with the most recent incident having been 42 months before the study. The women and men who had a minimum of one concussion scored similarly on cognitive tests done via computer. The concussion history for all women was irrelevant when examining the severity of the symptoms and that they did worse on the cognitive tests. The women averaged 1.5 more symptoms than men. They scored three points higher when the severity of the symptoms were calculated in comparison to men. Females had slower reaction times and their cognitive reactions were, on average, seven percent lower than men.

While there is a greater amount of attention paid to the possibility of brain damage from sport and coaches and administrators are tasked with making certain athletes are free of symptoms before re-entering their games, long-term problems are still largely unknown. Examining the difference between males and females adds another wrinkle into a brain injury. Those who have been hurt while playing a sport and believe they might have suffered long-term problems due to brain injury need to discuss their case with a legal professional to consider filing a case.

Source: Medscape, "Sports concussion symptoms worse in female athletes?," Megan Brooks, July 28, 2015

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