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JAMA Invited Review from Dr. Anto-Ocrah: Women More Prone to Concussion's Long-Term Harms

Updated: Dec 2, 2021

April 8, 2021

By Amy Norton


After a concussion, women may be at heightened risk of lasting physical and mental symptoms, a new study finds.

The study of 2,000 concussion sufferers found that women were more likely than men to still have some symptoms one year later. The problems included fuzzy memory and difficulty concentrating, as well as headaches, dizziness or fatigue.

In contrast, women and men showed similar recovery times after traumatic injuries to other areas of the body.

The reasons are unclear, but the study is not the first to find sex differences in concussion recovery. Many have found that on average, women improve more slowly post-concussion, regardless of what caused the injury.

But the new study also included a "control" group of people who had suffered orthopedic injuries, to see whether women tended to recover more slowly from injuries in general.

And that was not the case.

It's an important finding, according to Martina Anto-Ocrah, an assistant professor of emergency medicine and neurology at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

She said it strengthens the case that women's slower recovery is related to concussion, specifically.






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