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Do women have worse outcomes for traumatic brain injury?

On Behalf of | Oct 6, 2023 | Personal Injury

If you’re one of many women in California who have sustained blunt force trauma to your head at some point, you may be at risk for certain adverse health conditions, such as dementia. Such trauma often occurs in settings like the military, contact sports or car accidents. Data shows that women often are not able to recover as fully as men following a traumatic brain injury (TBI). 

A TBI may have lasting implications in your life that would not necessarily affect a man who suffered a similar injury. Studies show that you may be at risk for neurodegenerative diseases (like dementia) even if your injury occurred decades ago. A professor of neurosurgery at Stanford University says a reduction in cortical thickness is a key factor regarding the discrepancy between men and women who have suffered a TBI. 

Women experience decreased cortical thickness from traumatic brain injury 

Scientific research shows that decreased cortical thickness occurs in women because of a TBI much more often than it does in men. Studies also show that reduction of cortical thickness is closely connected to cognitive impairment. In addition to dementia, if you’re a woman recovering from a traumatic brain injury, you’re also at risk for other health problems. 

Following a TBI, women seem to be at greater risk than men for conditions such as depression and other mental health problems. One study showed that women are far more likely to live alone and be unable to work following a brain injury than their male counterparts. Certain treatments, such as neuromodulation, where there is stimulation of brain cells, are typically more effective for men than women. If you undergo such treatment, chances are you would need a more intense and extensive treatment plan to produce the same results as a man receiving similar treatment for a TBI.  

Fluctuation of hormones in a woman’s body affects TBI recovery 

Another neurological surgery professor, who teaches in Miami, says one of the main differences between men and women that may affect the ability to recover from a TBI is hormone fluctuation. Women often experience an absence or lack of certain hormones at various stages in life, which may impede their ability to recover from a brain injury.  

Getting much-needed care following a traumatic brain injury  

It may take months of medical treatments, physical therapy and daily living assistance for you to recover from a traumatic brain injury. As a woman, the effects of a TBI may be far-reaching and, possibly, permanent. It is critical to make sure you have access to all the care you need to help you live as high quality a life as possible. Care associated with TBI patients is expensive, which is why California law permits you to seek compensation for damages when another person’s negligence caused your injury