Over the last several years, the term traumatic brain injury (TBI), has become commonplace, as evidence mounts that some of America’s favorite contact sports may cause severe and lasting brain injuries. TBIs occur when the brain is jolted by an external force which results in damage to the brain in surrounding tissue. However, TBI is not limited to the football field, instead motor vehicle accidents and falls are the leading cause for this type of neurological injury . TBIs can range from mild to severe resulting in a brief period of disorientation (also known as a concussion), to complete loss of consciousness.
While men make up the majority of patients who are diagnosed with TBI, research suggests that women may experience TBI differently than men. Several studies have found that women may have more post-concussive symptoms, such as dizziness and headache, after a mild TBI as compared to men [2,3]. Additionally, women may have different post-concussive symptoms depending on their menstrual cycle stage at time of injury . Furthermore, a post-concussive symptom of TBI may be menstrual cycle irregularity or amenorrhea . More research is necessary to fully uncover the sex differences and sex-specific outcomes of TBI as it pertains to women's health.
For additional information:
Center for Disease Control
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
- Centers for Disease Control
- Bazarian et al., J Neurotrauma. 2010; 27(3):527-39.
- Colantonio et al., BMC Neurol. 2010 Oct 28;10:102.
- Wunderle et al., J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2014 Sep-Oct; 29(5):E1-8.
- Ranganathan et al., Brain Inj. 2016 Mar 10:1-10.