Women are more susceptible to long-term damage from concussions


Amy Norton
Health Day reporter

Thursday, April 8, 2021 (HealthDay News)- concussionA new study found that women may be more prone to lasting physical and mental symptoms.

A study of 2,000 patients with concussions found that after a year, women are more likely to develop certain symptoms than men.Problems include fuzzy memory and concentration, and headache, Dizziness or fatigue.

In contrast, men and women have similar recovery times for other parts of the body after injury.

The reason is not clear, but this study is not the first to find gender differences in concussion recovery. Many people find that no matter what the cause of the injury, women’s condition after a concussion is slower to improve.

But the new study also includes a “control group” of patients with bone injuries to see if women generally tend to recover more slowly from injuries.

But in fact, it’s not.

Martina Anto-Ocrah, assistant professor of emergency medicine and neurology at the University of Rochester Medical Center, said this is an important discovery.

carry on

She said this reinforces the slower recovery of women related to concussions.

Anto-Ocrah co-authored an editorial with the research, which was published in the journal on April 6. JAMA network is open.

Although these findings sound scary, most women rebound quickly after a concussion.

Anto-Ocrah said: “We expect that most patients will recover within a few weeks.” He pointed out that about 90% of patients will return to normal within three months.

However, some people experience persistent physical, mental or emotional symptoms for reasons that are not completely clear.

In this study, women do have a higher prevalence Frustrated with anxiety Compared with men, the diagnosis is made before the concussion.These are long-term risk factors Concussion symptoms, Anto-Ocrah pointed out.

However, the researchers explained depression and anxiety, and these diagnoses do not seem to explain the longer-lasting symptoms in women.

Regardless of the reason, the results of the study can be confirmed. Anto-Ocrah pointed out that some women told the doctor months after the injury that they still had concussion symptoms, but she was skeptical.

carry on

She said: “This is another proof, it’s not all in your mind.”

No solution brain Injured. But Anto-Ocrah said there are many ways to treat symptoms. This may mean cognitive therapy for memory or thinking problems, or medication for problems such as persistent headaches.

If women feel that their lingering symptoms have been eliminated, she urges them to “persistently” get the care they need.

“You can show this research to your provider,” Anto-Ocrah suggested.

The findings are based on 2,000 cases of concussion patients and 299 cases of bone injuries treated in any of the 18 hospitals in the United States.

For more than a year, they regularly completed standard questionnaire surveys on physical, psychological and emotional symptoms as signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

On average, women with concussions score higher than men on physical and mental function indicators (which means they have worse symptoms). As the condition of most patients improves, the gender gap narrows over time-but it still exists a year later.

carry on

Lead researcher Harvey Levine, professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, said the study cannot answer the question of why.

He said that chronic inflammation in the brain tissue or the influence of hormones may play a role.

The brain has receptors for estrogen. Some studies have shown that women who suffer from concussions at certain times during the menstrual cycle tend to recover more slowly.

In this study, women between the ages of 35 and 49 generally had more severe symptoms than younger and older women.

Although there is no conclusive explanation, Anto-Ocrah called the discovery “fascinating.”

She speculated that this may be a signal of hormone action, because women in this age group are approaching menopause.

Anto-Ocrah said that future studies should try to conduct more in-depth studies through “hormonal assessment” of female concussion patients-such as whether they use hormonal birth control, have reached menopause or are undergoing menopausal hormone therapy .

Levine said that for now, the discovery of age should be treated with caution, and further research is needed to confirm it.

carry on

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention The concussion recovered.

Source: Dr. Harvey Levin, Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston; Dr. Martina Anto-Ocrah, MPH, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, Neurology, and Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York; JAMA network is open, April 6, 2021, online


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