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A systematic review of sex differences in concussion outcome: what do we know?

Merritt, VC, Padgett, CR ORCID: 0000-0003-4398-4268 and Jak, AJ 2019 , 'A systematic review of sex differences in concussion outcome: what do we know?' , Neuropsychology, Development and Cognition. Section D: The Clinical Neuropsychologist , pp. 1-28 , doi: 10.1080/13854046.2018.1508616.

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Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this review was to examine sex differences in concussion, or mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) outcome, updating previous critical reviews of the literature.Method: Within adult human studies, we reviewed a wide rangeof concussion outcome variables: prevalence of concussion, injurycharacteristics, postconcussion symptom trajectories and psychiatric distress, neuropsychological performance, and neuroimagingfindings. Sports-related concussion, civilian, and military sampleswere included in the review.Results: Given the robust concussion literature, there is a relativepaucity of research addressing sex differences following concussion. The majority of available studies focused on sports-relatedconcussion, with fewer studies targeting other civilian causes ofconcussion or military-related concussion in females. Prevalenceof concussion was generally reported to be higher in femalesthan males. Although symptom reporting largely showed a pattern for females to report greater overall symptoms than males,examining individual symptoms or symptom clusters resulted inmixed findings between the sexes. Neuropsychological studiesgenerally showed females performing more poorly than males onmeasures of visual memory following concussion, though thisfinding was not consistently reported.Conclusion: Research examining sex differences in humans following concussion, in general, is in its infancy, and exploration ofsex differences in studies outside of the sports concussion domainis particularly nascent. Given the increased prevalence of concussion and potential higher symptom reporting among women,ongoing research is necessary to better understand the role ofbiological sex on outcome following concussion. Understandingsex differences has important implications for assessment, management, and treatment of concussion.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Merritt, VC and Padgett, CR and Jak, AJ
Keywords: concussion, traumatic brain injury, sex differences, cognitive outcome
Journal or Publication Title: Neuropsychology, Development and Cognition. Section D: The Clinical Neuropsychologist
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISSN: 1385-4046
DOI / ID Number: 10.1080/13854046.2018.1508616
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

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