Researchers have known for some time that female athletes experience higher rates of concussion than their male counterparts, and also often suffer harsher symptoms and take longer to recover. But why women seem more vulnerable to such injuries has long remained a puzzle.
Concussion symptoms range from headache, dizziness and confusion to memory loss, noise or light sensitivity, and irritability. Most people recover quickly but some develop problems lasting a year or more. A 2010 study led by neurologist Jeffrey Bazarian of the University of Rochester found that women—especially those of child-bearing age—had worse symptoms measured three months after injury.