Do men and women recover from a concussion in the same way?

By Andrea Verburg Hill MD, Certified Ringside Physician

Feb 2020
Concussions- Kick Boxing
Photo by Ray Kasprowicz

As a woman, I always want to say that I am equal to a man, that I can do anything a man can do. I don’t like to hear anything that makes me feel like the “weaker” sex. But there are some areas where the differences between women and men shouldn’t be ignored and concussions are one of them.

Concussions are a form of mild Traumatic Brain Injury (or TBI) that occur from a blow or shaking of the head and cannot be seen with any imaging studies. They cause symptoms ranging from headaches and dizziness, to depression and slowed cognitive function. As the world focuses more and more on concussion research, there have been significant differences found in men and women. Women were studied a little later, partially because science tends to do that anyway, but also because in order to study concussion differences, it was important to find a sport in which the exact same mechanism of injury would occur. Additionally some of the data was a little skewed, making the conclusions more difficult to understand. This is because, generally speaking, women discuss pain more than men and are more likely to report concussion symptoms.

Do men and women recover from a concussion in the same way?
Credit: getty images

Doctor Hill is a Ringside Physician in the United States. She graduated from Texas A&M University College of Medicine in 1999. After graduation, she worked primarily as a pediatrician and moved to her work as a ringside physician five years ago. She is certified by the Association of Ringside Physicians and certified by USA Boxing. She has worked extensively with USA boxing, including Golden Gloves and has worked with both the UFC and Mayweather Productions as well as many amateur events with the ISKA and IKF. She trained for ten years in Muay Thai and owned a Muay Thai gym with her husband, a pro-MMA and Muay Thai fighter. In 2016 her husband died by suicide secondary to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy and Acute Concussion Syndrome. Since that time she has worked extensively with fighters to promote concussion awareness and CTE prevention, and changed to training in traditional boxing. For questions or to learn more about her personal story DM her IG   @fightdoctress

Dr Andrea V. Hill