We know that concussion rates for men and women are different and that TNI impacts the male and female brains in different ways. Male athletes have been donating their brains to science for about a decade now for research into exactly what the nature of damage results from a lifetime of professional and high caliber athletics. Now, four female athletes have stepped forward in Canada to donate their brains to research. They hope to give medical experts better insight into the damage they’ve sustained and to develop better prevention and treatment modalities for females with concussion.
Cassie Campbell-Pascal (hockey), Jen Kish (rugby), Fran Rider (hockey), and Karrin Lee-Garner (downhill skiing) have all announced their intention to donate their brains to Toronto Western Hospital’s Canadian Concussion Centre which is focussing their research on the effect of trauma on female brains. The Centre is examining the correlation between repeated concussion and deterioration of brain function. The centre is accepting brain donations from current and retired professional and amateur athletes. They are also seeking donations of people who have sustained repeated concussions. To date the Centre has 44 brains of deceased male athletes.
Research on women to date suggests that women who participate in contact sports like rugby or hockey suffer higher rates of TBI than males counterparts, and that the recovery time for women is longer. The researchers hope that post-mortem examination of the brains will provide some clues as to why, and will determine whether women suffer CTE at similar rates.
1o things you may not know about concussion
1. You only need one symptom of concussion to be diagnosed with a concussion.
2. Women are more susceptible to concussion perhaps due to the unequal neck strength which may prevent whiplash and jiggling.
3. Wearing a helmet does not prevent concussion. It can protect you from catastrophic brain injury. They do not protect about brain jiggling.
4. We don’t know where exactly in the brain concussion occurs.
5. Genetics may play a part in the susceptibility to concussion.
6. Recent research indicates that adolescents have more severe symptoms and longer recovery from concussion.
7. X-ray and MRI cannot diagnose concussion.
8. You don’t need a direct blow to the head to sustain concussion. It can be caused by a blow to the body.
9. The only treatment for concussion is rest.
10. Concussion can be caused by sport, car accident, physical assault, blast waves, or falls.