Parents, teachers, and coaches whose student-athletes have suffered a concussion know that the symptoms can linger for weeks or months after the initial injury. But a new study suggests that the symptoms girls face after a concussion can be very different from the symptoms boys face.
The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, followed over 9,000 Ontario teenagers who had suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Researchers asked the teens to describe their behavior and moods after the concussion occurred.
They found that girls were more likely to report symptoms like anxiety and depression, thoughts of suicide, becoming the targets of bullying, and substance abuse, including smoking and drinking alcohol. By contrast, boys were more likely to report fighting, bullying others, and “acting out” in class in ways that damaged their grades.
Researchers note that more work is required before it will become clear how these results can be used to treat TBI more effectively. For instance, the study did not answer the question why boys and girls seem to have different symptoms after concussion. More research would help to determine whether the difference is due to genetic factors, brain structure or socialization and cultural treatment of boys’ and girls’ displays of different moods and symptoms of distress. However, they note that the findings can help teachers and parents recognize when a player’s symptoms might be concussion-related.
The experienced New York traumatic brain injury attorneys at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP have helped many concussion sufferers protect their legal rights and pursue the compensation they deserved after an accident. Contact us today to learn more.