Differences in functional recovery following concussion between males and females
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Concussion, a brain trauma resulted from linear or rotational acceleration to the head, represents a majority of the traumatic brain injuries (TBI) sustained each year. To understand if there are recovery differences between males and females post-concussion, this research examined males and females with matched controls for two months following the injury. In this study, a 3-dimensional motion analysis system was used to observe the trajectory of 29 anatomical locations in order to determine the peak anterior velocity of each subject’s center of mass (COM, the point where the mass is equally distributed) and the medial-lateral COM sway. Symptom severity was assessed based on a 22-symptom inventory and a scale similar to the Likert scale for each symptom (ranking each symptom from 0-6). A three-way analysis of variance, or ANOVA, was performed to analyze the data in order to determine the effect of concussion, sex (male and female), time (72 hour, one week, two week, one month, and two month post-injury), and the interactions between these independent variables. It was revealed that males and females do not objectively differ in terms of the peak anterior COM velocity or COM medial-lateral displacement across the 2-month study, but that females reported more severe symptoms than males. The findings suggest that subjects of both sexes follow the same general gait balance recovery trends and that both sexes report heightened symptoms for at least two months after experiencing a concussion. Across all time points, females reported more symptoms than males, so either males are under-reporting their symptoms or females are experiencing more symptoms than males.