Intro

For this study, the researchers analyzed approximately 1200 baseline concussion tests and 700 post-concussion IMPACT cognitive testing sessions. The average age of the participant was about 17 years old and the ages ranged from 10 to 20 years of age and, the subject pool was 57% male. The researchers stated that males were most likely to sustain a concussion from football (n=118) and females were most likely to sustain a concussion from cheerleading (n=39). However, their own data suggests that this population was most likely to sustain a concussion outside of sport with males sustaining 122, and females sustaining 152 respectively

Results

The researchers showed that males were more likely to present with, a loss of consciousness, and amnesia. Additionally, the researchers found that females were more likely to report a concussion, had a higher intensity of symptoms, and a higher total symptom score compared to males. Within the cognitive testing domain, the researchers found that females only performed significantly worse on the visual memory portion of the examination compared to males. When comparing age the researchers put the participants into two groups; 13 yrs old and below, and above 13 yrs old. It should be noted that the SCAT tool uses age 12 as the cutoff to use the child SCAT. Additionally, since the researchers did not break down their population by age we cannot know how many were in each age (13y/o, 14y/o, 15y/o, etc.).

Discussion

These results have some significance because they do show there are some distinct objective differences between males and females in the treatment of concussion. Furthermore, some of these differences such as intensity of concussion and likeliness of sustaining concussion could in part be explained by females more willingness to report such events and the perceived intensity of their symptoms. Additionally, it was surprising to not see the researchers mention the 274 concussions that happened outside of sport, instead, they mentioned that males were most likely to sustain a concussion during football and for females to sustain a concussion during cheerleading. I was left wondering what the researchers were doing with this nearly 40% of their entire post-concussion data set and why they did not discuss how these participants sustained them or if they were classified as concussions at all during their visit to the physician’s office.

You can find this research article in full here.

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