Sports-related concussion is a serious health challenge, and females are at higher risk of sustaining a sports-related concussion compared to males. Although there are many studies that investigate outcomes following concussion, females remain an understudied population, despite representing a large proportion of the organized sports community. In this review, we provide a summary of studies that investigate sex-related differences in outcome following sports-related concussion. Moreover, we provide an introduction to the methods used to study sex-related differences after sports-related concussion, including common clinical and cognitive measures, neuroimaging techniques, as well as biomarkers. A literature search inclusive of articles published to March 2020 was performed using PubMed. The studies were reviewed and discussed with regard to the methods used. Findings from these studies remain mixed with regard to the effect of sex on clinical symptoms, concussion-related alterations in brain structure and function, and recovery trajectories. Nonetheless, there is initial evidence to suggest that sex-related differences following concussion are important to consider in efforts to develop objective biomarkers for the diagnosis and prognosis of concussion. Additional studies on this topic are, however, clearly needed to improve our understanding of sex-related differences following concussion, as well as to understand their neurobiological underpinnings. Such studies will help pave the way toward more personalized clinical management and treatment of sports-related concussion.
© 2020 The Authors. Journal of Neuroimaging published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Society of Neuroimaging.

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PubMed