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Women with concussions may recover more slowly

New Mexico residents may be unaware that a new study suggests that women may recover more slowly from concussions than men do. A doctor in Taiwan noticed she was getting more women patients than men in her office following concussions and wondered whether women suffered more complications after such injuries.

The study looked at 60 patients. Half had concussions and half did not, and these numbers were equally split between men and women. All participants had neuropsychological tests and brain scans. The people with concussions were scanned twice, and the study found that two and a half months after the initial injury, the brains of men with concussions more closely resembled the healthy volunteers' brains than the brains of women with concussions did.

Some women report having difficulty years after a concussion, and the director of UCLA's Brain Injury Research Center reports that women are more likely to fall into the 10 to 20 percent of people whose injuries linger. Difficulty with focusing, headaches and problems with memory and verbal skills are among some of the symptoms victims report having years later. A concussion causes a deterioration in a part of nerve cells responsible for sending electrical impulses. It is possible that among some women, there is a disproportionate lack of recovery in these cells.

Concussions and other brain injuries might have a number of different causes. For example, a person might sustain a concussion or more serious brain injury after falling in a medical setting if they are not properly restrained. As this study demonstrates, even a concussion from such an injury might lead to long-term consequences. Those with even more serious brain injuries might never return to their previous levels of employment and may require lifelong medical treatment. In such a case, a medical malpractice attorney might describe the remedies that are available to receive compensation for the losses sustained.

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