Women and traumatic brain injury.

Women are more likely to be depressed in the early stages of traumatic brain injury.

An article by Michigan researchers in The Journal of Neuroscience Nursing recently reported that women are more likely than men to suffer from depression after traumatic brain injury. Additionally, women are more likely than men to have post-traumatic difficulties with memory, communication, body pains, and control of body movements.

The difference between men and women, however, was only significant within the first 6 months after the injury. After 6 months, there was no difference in the rate of depression between men and women.

Symptoms of depression in the early stages of recovery seem to be related to the amount of stress and pain a brain injury survivor perceives-both of which are more common in women than in men. The exact reasons for this is still unknown, but the researchers suggest that differences in hormones or brain structure could be the cause.

Bay E, Sikorskii A, & Saint-Arnault D. Sex differences in depressive symptoms and their correlates after mild-to-moderate traumatic brain injury. The Journal of Neuroscience Nursing. (December 2009).

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