Why Are Girls More Likely to Sustain a TBI in Sports?

If you look at the frequencies of injuries, girls sports are much more likely to be injured than boys. And I don't think it's because girls are rougher than boys; I think it's because their heads are different. And I think that's one of the more interesting things about a brain injury is that no two injuries are alike because every skull is different. And the way the brain rests in everybody's skull is different. So, clearly, the fact that girls are sustaining more injuries says to me that the structure--their basically morphological structure is different. And their hormonal structure is different, so I think there is a lot about the endocrine system that may either be promoting injury in women, but also may be promoting recovery, okay? There's an acute trial going now on the use of progesterone in the emergency room for people who are injured. And some of the early pilot data said that this worked better in men than in women. Well, women have it, okay? Men don't. So you're basically talking about hormonal augmentation in one group that was not needed in the other group.

The hormonal and morphological structures in girls make them more vulnerable to TBIs than boys.

Wayne Gordon

Wayne Gordon, PhD, ABPP/Cn, is the Jack Nash Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine and associate director of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He is a neuropsychologist and the director of the Mount Sinai Brain Injury Research Center.

Posted on BrainLine March 15, 2011

Produced by Noel Gunther, Ashley Gilleland, Victoria Tilney McDonough, and Brian King.

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