News from NORA
There is little known about the specific effects of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs), such as concussions, on women, mainly because the majority of published studies on the subject have focused more on men. A growing body of evidence suggests, however, that females have a higher rate of concussions than men playing sports with similar rules, with one study showing that women athletes are 50% more likely than male athletes to have a sports-related concussion. Furthermore, a recent study published in the journal Pediatrics found that girls who play high school soccer are at nearly the same risk for TBIs as boys who play high school football. In fact, concussion rates were higher among girls than boys in every high school sport.
With the recent focus on female athletes and brain health, there is an opportunity to raise more awareness of sex and gender differences in concussion as well as the importance of seeking immediate diagnosis and care following an incident. A recently published study reported that female athletes seek specialty medical treatment later than male athletes for sports-related concussions, and this delay may cause them to experience more symptoms and longer recoveries. Another study reported that girls who suffer a sports-related concussion get specialty care nearly a week later on average than boys.
NORA and PINK Concussions, a non-profit organization that focuses on pre-injury education and post-injury medical care for women and girls with brain injury, have developed a new educational resource, “Women and Concussions,” that provides some helpful information on why concussions might affect women differently than men. It can be viewed and downloaded from both the NORA and PINK Concussions websites.