For Teen Athletes, Concussion Symptoms Differ by Gender

Boys have more cognitive symptoms; girls have more somatic symptoms

MONDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- High school-age boys and girls tend to present with different symptoms after a concussion, but their recovery time is the same, according to research published in the January/February issue of the Journal of Athletic Training.

Leah J. Frommer, of the University of California in Santa Barbara, and colleagues conducted a study of 812 sport concussions (610 males, 202 females) sustained during boys' football, soccer, basketball, wrestling, and baseball and girls' soccer, volleyball, basketball, and softball. The objective of the study was to assess gender-based differences in symptoms, symptom resolution time, and time to return to sport.

No significant gender difference was seen in the total number of symptoms reported, but there were significant gender differences in the types of symptoms reported. The researchers found that, during the first year, males reported amnesia and confusion more frequently than did females. In year two, males continued to report more amnesia and confusion than did females, but females reported more sensitivity to noise and drowsiness. There were no significant differences in symptom resolution time or return-to-play time.

"Little difference is evident in the severity or outcome of concussions sustained between sexes in high school athletes," the authors write. "However, male and female high school athletes appeared to present with different types of symptoms after a sport-related concussion."

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