Not all things in life are partial to gender equality – brain injuries are one such thing. Although young men can often be more susceptible to picking up a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), studies have shown that women are often more vulnerable to long term physical and psychological effects from this type of injury than their male equivalents.

In a study published in the journal of Evidence Based Mental Health, 1,397 patients were analysed to see what the outcome of their TBI was. In this study, the outcome for women was worse than for men in 85% of the outcome variables. Reasons for this are unclear, although speculation by a peer reviewer suggested it may be that, because women are less likely to suffer a TBI, when they do it means the trauma that caused it was much more severe.

Whatever the reason for women having a worse outcome from a TBI than men, many women across the UK do not understand what a TBI is, how they get it, or what the consequences are. With over a million people attending A&E with head injuries each year and 135,000 being admitted to hospital as a result, getting to grips with the facts about TBIs puts us in a better position to cope with one if it ever does happen to us.

What can cause a TBI?

Brain injuries can occur from any trauma to the head. This could be as a result of a fall, a car accident, domestic violence or any other head injury. TBIs are not the same as brain injuries caused by strokes, tumours, meningitis and other conditions – these are known as Associated Brain Injuries (ABI).

TBIs that are caused by accidents, where the injured party was not at fault, may be eligible for compensation. In the case of a compensation claim being brought for this type of personal injury, it is worth looking to hire specialist brain injury lawyers, as the ongoing consequences of this type of injury can be complicated.

What are the effects of a TBI?

Brain injuries can cause a range of both long-lasting and short-lived symptoms. These can include:

  • Behaviour: Depression, anxiety, loss of motivation, anger
  • Cognitive: Issues with memory, concentration and attention, as well as problems dealing with stress and noise
  • Physical: Paralysis, lack of coordination, problems speaking, loss of sight, fatigue, sexual problems

Relatives of TBI sufferers have commented that the most difficult effects to live with include changes in personality, poor memory, slowness, tiredness, depression, anxiety and threats of violence.

What are the effects on women of a brain injury?

Cited in the study mentioned earlier, the symptoms in which women fared significantly worse than men were:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Amnesia

The wide range of symptoms that can present as a result of a TBI are incredibly varied and can range from mild to severe, making it difficult to predict what the long term effects will be. Some TBI sufferers make a full recovery in time, whereas others have to live with long term changes to their personality, behaviour or physical ability.