Concussion Symptoms Last Longer In Women

More Women Than Men Seek Medical Attention Due To Persistent Symptoms

29.04.2015

Women take longer to recover from concussion than men, new research suggests.

Authors of a study in the journal Radiology found that patients who experience concussion – mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) – typically recover fully within three months.

However, between 10% and 15% of patients will continue to experience persistent problems beyond this period, with nearly twice as many women than men seeking medical attention as a result.

The researchers used MRI scans to analyse brain activation patterns during working memory tasks – a function often impaired after a concussion – a month after an injury. They also received a follow-up scan six months after the first.

At the follow-up exam, the male participants had largely returned to normal activation patterns, whereas women were more likely to display persistent problems.

Lead study author Dr Chi-Jen Chen, from the Taipei Medical University in Taiwan, said: "These findings provide evidence that female gender may be a risk factor for working memory impairment after MTBI. If so, more aggressive management should be initiated once MTBI is diagnosed in female patients."

Expert Opinion
"Concussion continues to be an issue in the public eye, particularly as a result of high-profile incidents in football and rugby in the UK which have raised questions regarding how sport handles such issues.

"With this in mind, any research aimed at developing a greater understanding of concussion and the effect it has on those affected has to be welcome. Everything possible must be done to properly assess the consequences of concussion, as such information will go towards improving care and support to tackle the issue."
Stephen Nye, Partner