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Female and younger athletes take longer to heal from concussions

Posted by: Colleen Stoxen Updated: May 8, 2012 - 5:03 PM

New research reveals female athletes and younger athletes take longer to recover from concussions, findings that call for physicians and athletic trainers to take gender and age into account when dealing with the injury.

The study, led by Tracey Covassin of Michigan State University Department of Kinesiology, found females performed worse than males on visual memory tests and reported more symptoms postconcussion.

Additionally, high school athletes performed worse than college athletes on verbal and visual memory tests, and some of the younger athletes still were impaired up to two weeks after their injuries.

"While previous research suggests younger athletes and females may take longer to recover from a concussion, little was known about the interactive effects of age and sex on symptoms, cognitive testing and postural stability," said Covassin, a certified athletic trainer at MSU. "This study confirms that age and sex have an impact on recovery, and future research should focus on developing treatments tailored to those differences."

Read more from Michigan State University.

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