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Stroke

Strokes affect women more than men

If you thought gender bias was a social problem think again. According to new study by researchers in Taiwan the after-effects of stroke are more pronounced in women than men. “Women appear to have more lasting and intense memory impairment issues over the long run following a concussion,” said the scientists who conducted the study. Also referred to as mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), concussion is temporary loss of normal brain function, which often follows a head injury. Among its symptoms are headache, sleep impairment, fatigue, poor coordination, loss of memory, poor concentration and changes in mood. Most people recover from the condition in less than three months but 10-15 % of patients continue to experience complications.

The results of recent studies on the long-term effects of concussion are anything but reassuring. Increasingly, studies have found that concussion can lead to abnormal brain wave activity and poor memory even decades after injury. A study found that brain’s gray matter continued to show signs of damage four months after injury. Underlining the presence of the gender bias studies on professional athletes engaged in contact sports show that concussion is more common among female than male athletes.

The lead author of the latest study, Dr. Chi-Jen Chen, of the Taipei Medical University Shuang-Ho Hospital and the Chia-Yi Hospital – both in Taiwan – says that women are also more likely to seek medical attention for persistent symptoms after concussion. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) Chen and his team analyze the activity of the brains of 15 men and 15 women with concussion while they performed working memory tasks. Since working memory impairment is a common complaint after concussion the team focused on this aspect.

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