Female athletes appear to suffer from higher rates of concussion - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Female athletes appear to suffer from higher rates of concussion

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BOARDMAN TWP., Ohio -

Do the benefits of contact sports outweigh the risks?  That's a question people have been debating for years, especially as more is learned about concussions.

"When you are talking about the fastest rate of growth, as far as concussion numbers, girls are actually starting to take the lead," said Dr. Christopher Liebig with Akron Children's Hospital Mahoning Valley.

There are several theories as to why rates are high among girls including the neck strength, their willingness to self-report symptoms and hormonal factors.

A recent study published in JAMA Pediatrics shows a quarter of injured female patients, between the ages of 12 and 21, experienced two or more abnormal menstrual periods four months after their concussion, suggesting these brain injuries can affect hormonal processes.

"There seems to be that little bit of prolonged recovery for them.  It is a little different.  Regardless, we've got to treat every patient on an individual basis," said Dr. Liebig.

Dr. Liebig says there is an inherent risk of concussion with any sport.  As rates increase, he says so does awareness and his hope is that knowledge will help athletic trainers, coaches and parents better treat head injuries.

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