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Study suggests brain injuries impact women longer than men

Women in Colorado struggling to recover from traumatic brain injuries, even mild ones, have a greater chance of ending up with long-term memory problems than men with similar injuries. The director of the Brain Injury Research Center at UCLA said the 10 to 20 percent of brain injury victims whose symptoms persist for years tend to be female.

The director gave this statement to NBC News when commenting on a study from Taiwan that showed women had a harder time recovering from concussions than men. One of the study's coauthors got the idea to study gender differences in brain injury effects because she noticed that nearly twice the amount of women came to her clinic following concussions than did men.

In the study, 30 concussion patients were compared to 30 volunteers without brain trauma injuries. Equal numbers of men and women comprised each group. MRI scans and memory tests showed increased brain axon activation, or more active memory circuits, among male concussion patients whereas female concussion patients showed decreased memory activity. Another brain injury medical expert said that the results indicate that women could be more vulnerable to axon degradation after brain trauma than men.

In personal injury cases in which a brain injury has been caused by another party's negligence, a female victim might need to consider the likelihood of the need for prolonged medical care. Information from this study could be relevant in a discussion of the amount and types of damages to ask for in a personal injury lawsuit. Damages that are often sought by plaintiffs in these types of civil actions include the costs of medical treatment as well as compensation for wages that were lost due to an inability to work.

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