Women playing contact sports or leading an extremely active life should be aware of the recent discovery saying that a concussion does more damage to a women that in the case of a man.
The base of the study
The study was performed on a contingent of young soccer players with representatives from the both genders. The study had as base several scientific observations which supported the theory that the symptoms displayed after a concussion are more severe for women when compared to men. According to Tracey Covassin from Michigan University women also need a longer time to recover after a concussion.
Why was it performed?
The study had as purpose finding better solutions for the recovery of the young athletes before they return to their performance program. The scientists started by analyzing 56 women and 39 men, all high school and college soccer players, during two stages of testing. The first tests were conducted before the soccer season started and followed the memory capabilities and other brain response results. During these tests all the participants, regardless their gender had similar and very comparable result.
The next testing was performed 8 days after these participants had a concussion. Although the thinking and memory testing showed comparable results for both women and men, women displayed lower performance in remembering visual images.
All the participants to the test reported different amounts of body pain felt after the concussion. Several other symptoms appeared for women. Migraines and sleep problems appeared post-concussion, more than twice in women when compared to men.
Previous studies conducted by Dr. Zuckerman, from Vanderbilt University Medical Center found no such differences. Compared to his study the one conducted by Covassin and her colleagues also analyzed the BMI of the athletes.
According to a theory they explored, people with stronger bodies are able to better sustain a head injury because of the strength of their neck. However, the women tested lower in spite of their high BMI.
Conclusions and further analysis
The studies of this kind are tailored for the needs of large teams to help sport physicians assit better in the recovery of the athletes during the season.
Susan Saliba trainer and physical therapist says that the size of the athlete is extremely relevant for sustaining an injury even though she cannot quite explain how.
Tracey Covassin concluded her study with a warning addressed to the parents and trainers of the young athletes. In her opinion the sings of a concussion should be carefully monitored especially because every athlete is unique and has a unique way of manifestation in these cases.