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John Inserra
John Inserra
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Do Men and Women Have Different Outcomes in Severe Traumatic Brain Injuries?

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A recent IMPACT study to evaluate Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) outcomes has disclosed that while age, race and education are all associated with outcomes, gender does not.  The IMPACT study analyzed Glasgow Outcome Scores at six months post moderate-to-severe TBI injuries.  Although past studies reported female outcomes with higher initial Glasgow Coma Scores and longer durations of post-traumatic amnesia, they also demonstrated equal Glasgow Outcome Scales post-rehabilitation.  At one year post-injury, women showed better memory and language skills, while men demonstrated better visual analytic skills.

Gender differences with respect to injury, illness and outcome are not necessarily unique to TBI.    Several studies have shown decreased incidence of ischemic stroke in females, both in human work and experimental models.  In patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage, favorable outcomes were shown to be significantly better for females versus males at the 3 month follow up period and mortality was found to be significantly lower in one randomized clinical trial.

A 2010 study of Cornell University and Mount Sinai School of Medicine revealed that woman scored significantly higher than men on a test of visual memory after mile to severe traumatic brain damages.  Still, overall cognitive outcomes after Traumatic Brain Injuries does not differ according to gender, with the possible exception of memory functioning.