Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury in Females: A State-of-the-Art Summary and Future Directions

Eve M. Valera, Annie Lori C. Joseph, Katherine Snedaker, Matthew J. Breiding, Courtney L. Robertson, Angela Colantonio, Harvey Levin, Mary Jo Pugh, Deborah Yurgelun-Todd, Rebekah Mannix, Jeffrey J. Bazarian, L. Christine Turtzo, Lyn S. Turkstra, Lisa Begg, DIana M. Cummings, Patrick S.F. Bellgowan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this report, we identify existing issues and challenges related to research on traumatic brain injury (TBI) in females and provide future directions for research. In 2017, the National Institutes of Health, in partnership with the Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine and the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, hosted a workshop that focused on the unique challenges facing researchers, clinicians, patients, and other stakeholders regarding TBI in women. The goal of this "Understanding TBI in Women" workshop was to bring together researchers and clinicians to identify knowledge gaps, best practices, and target populations in research on females and/or sex differences within the field of TBI. The workshop, and the current literature, clearly highlighted that females have been underrepresented in TBI studies and clinical trials and have often been excluded (or ovariectomized) in preclinical studies. Such an absence in research on females has led to an incomplete, and perhaps inaccurate, understanding of TBI in females. The presentations and discussions centered on the existing knowledge regarding sex differences in TBI research and how these differences could be incorporated in preclinical and clinical efforts going forward. Now, a little over 2 years later, we summarize the issues and state of the science that emerged from the "Understanding TBI in Women" workshop while incorporating updates where they exist. Overall, despite some progress, there remains an abundance of research focused on males and relatively little explicitly on females.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E1-E17
JournalJournal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • concussion
  • intimate partner violence
  • sex differences
  • traumatic brain injury
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology


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