As female participation in sports grows rapidly, there is a popular notion that there are gender-related differences in athletes’ responses to concussion.
Although prior research has supported these gender discrepancies, a new study conducted by Vanderbilt University Medical Center to review symptoms and neurocognitive findings in male and female high school soccer players, shows no gender-related differences.
“There has been good data that suggests girls score worse on neurocognitive testing following a sports-related concussion,” said Dr. Scott Zuckerman, a neurosurgery resident who conducted the study with colleagues at the Vanderbilt Sports Concussion Center.
Zuckerman said researchers were somewhat surprised and unsure what to expect in such a tightly controlled population.
“Our hypothesis was that females would experience greater levels of acute, post-concussive, neurocognitive impairment than males, fitting with what most of the prior literature says," he said, "but we found virtually no difference between males and females.”
Zuckerman said this is a significant finding for the treatment of sports-related concussion.