Study: Brain injuries may influence girls differently than boys

A new study revealed that girls may be more likely to experience certain symptoms, like psychological distress, after a traumatic brain injury than boys.

Many people in Maryland and throughout the country incur a traumatic brain injury every year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on an annual basis, approximately 1.7 million people in the U.S. sustain a brain injury. Of those who incur brain injuries, 52,000 die and 275,000 are hospitalized. While TBIs are not an uncommon injury, every person experiences varying effects. However, a new study reveals that girls may be affected by brain injuries differently than boys.

In this study, researchers surveyed 9,288 Canadian students in grades seven through 12. Of the students who had suffered a brain injury, the girls were more likely to report that they had become the target of bullying, contemplated committing suicide, smoked cigarettes and experienced psychological distress.

What caused these differences?

Researchers were unable to determine what caused these differences between the male and female participants because the results were self-reported. However, those who worked on the study suspect that these variances could be caused by differences in cognitive abilities, hormones, treatments or some combination of these factors.

However, other research suggests that women are more willing to divulge their symptoms than men. Because women are often more honest about their symptoms than their male counterparts, it may be more difficult to establish differences relating to TBIs between the two genders.

What other effects do TBI victims experience?

According to the Mayo Clinic, some signs and symptoms of a traumatic brain injury may appear immediately after the initial trauma while others may not develop until days or weeks after the trauma occurs. However, many may experience physical, sensory or cognitive difficulties following the injury that require extensive medical care. For example, a person who incurs a mild TBI may exhibit the following signs and symptoms:

  • Loss of consciousness for anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes
  • A desire to sleep more than usual
  • A bad taste in his or her mouth, ringing in the ears or sensitivity to light and sound
  • Extreme mood changes or swings
  • Dizziness or loss of balance

In comparison, a person who incurs a moderate to severe brain injury may experience loss of coordination, repeated nausea or vomiting, profound confusion or slurred speech.

Immediate and long-term expenses need to be considered

Due to the unpredictable nature of brain injuries, TBI victims in Maryland need to consider their needs for rehabilitative and medical care in the immediate aftermath of the trauma and well into the future. If you incurred a brain injury because of another person's negligence, speak with an attorney to find out what compensation may be available to you.

Keywords: TBI, brain, injury, accident