Why Are Women Being Left Out Of Brain Injury Research?

There is plenty of evidence suggesting women are more vulnerable to concussions and may even respond differently to traumatic brain injury, but you wouldn’t realize that by looking at most studies on brain injury.

Young Woman Thinking --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Young Woman Thinking — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

STAT News recently explored why women are woefully underrepresented in brain injury research despite higher concussion rates and more severe and persistent symptoms.

“If concussion is the invisible injury, then females are the invisible population within that injury,” Katherine Snedaker, the founder of the nonprofit PINK Concussions, told Usha Lee McFarling recently.

Many believe the response to traumatic brain injury in females is unique enough from males to warrant gender-specific treatment, but studies often recruit only male football players. Similarly, nearly all the brains donated to brain banks devoted to researching traumatic brain injury and chronic traumatic encephalopathy are male.

“It’s an incredible gap in our knowledge,” said Angela Colantonio, director of the Rehabilitation Science Institute at the University of Toronto. “It’s just not acceptable.”

Find out more about the gender gap in brain injury research from STAT.

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One Response to Why Are Women Being Left Out Of Brain Injury Research?

  1. Karol Blain November 21, 2016 at 5:39 pm #

    I was diagnosed with a TBI approx. 5 yrs ago , from a MVA . I have had a few doctors confirm this with an MRI and said nothing can be done, I recently moved to south west florida, I have not been able to find a neurologist that is willing to follow this injury . I have been only told no one has the experience. Being in healthcare for many years, I have retaught myself in memory , still have some memory issues , numbers are hard for me, balance . How do you find a doctor to follow this ?

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