A study of over 9,000 teenage concussion patients published in the journal PLOS ONE recently suggests that, after a concussion, girls may struggle with symptoms that are different from boys’ symptoms – but no less debilitating.
The study surveyed 9,288 students in grades 7 through 12 who had suffered brain injuries, usually while participating in sports. The results showed that girls were more likely to report lingering problems like anxiety and depression, thoughts of suicide, becoming the targets of bullying, and turning to cigarettes or other substances to deal with their symptoms. Meanwhile, boys were more likely to report “acting out” at school and other events, bullying others, and letting their grades drop.
The study also found that 20 percent of the teens who had suffered concussions had lost consciousness during the event or had required hospitalization. Boys were six percent more likely than girls to suffer concussions, but the gap appears to be closing, as girls participate in sports like soccer, basketball, and cheer -leading in higher numbers.
While researchers noted that there seemed to be a clear difference in symptoms between the two groups, they also cautioned that more research is needed to understand why the differences happen and how to treat them effectively. However, parents, coaches, and teachers who work with girls would be wise to keep these symptoms in mind and to watch for them in girls suspected of having suffered a concussion or other traumatic brain injury. The sooner a TBI is diagnosed, the sooner steps can be taken to speed healing and minimize long-term damage.
If you or someone you love has suffered a traumatic brain injury in an accident, don’t wait: contact an experienced Colorado injury attorney to learn more about your legal rights and options.