What is a concussion?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, stretching and damaging the brain cells and creating chemical changes in the brain.
Do sports-related concussions impact female and male athletes differently?
Research shows that women and girls suffer from a higher rate of sports concussions than men in similar sports. Additionally, of those athletes who experience a concussion, women experience different and more severe symptoms, and are often slower to recover from the injury.
How are men and women impacted differently?
Gender-related differences contribute to women’s susceptibility to and recovery from concussions.
- Biomechanical differences such as neck size and strength may contribute to women suffering from a greater number of concussions.
- Biological differences such as the onset of puberty may contribute to females increasingly experiencing a higher incidence of concussions.
- Female concussed athletes report more symptoms of dizziness, fatigue, loss of concentration, and lightheadedness than male concussed athletes.