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Women and Concussions
Heads aren’t only turning, they’re also getting knocked around more, which is upping concussion rates. Concussions, especially among male athletes, are a hot topic these days, even getting Hollywood treatment in the 2015 movie Concussion, starring Will Smith. Yet here’s the surprise: Women have higher rates of concussions than men and can struggle more with recovery. So why is nobody talking about concussions in female athletes?
As with some other health conditions, women have largely been ignored in concussion research. The main reason? “Women don’t play football, and that’s where some of the highest rates of concussions occur,” says Summer Ott, Pys.D., neuropsychologist and director of the Concussion Program at Memorial Hermann Ironman Sports Medicine Institute in Houston.
Yet times are changing, namely because researchers are now paying closer attention to concussions in female athletes and focusing on sports in which women do participate, including basketball and soccer, the two highest concussion-causing sports for women. Their research has unearthed some surprising differences.
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