NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk’s Katherine Snedaker is partnering with researchers from Clemson University to survey female athletes about past and present experiences with concussions.
The survey runs through Oct. 31. Female athletes age 18 and over can sign up now at PinkConcussions.com. They will be emailed a link to a 20-minute online survey about their experiences with sports and non-sport concussions and reporting concussions.
“Female athletes experience a significant number of concussions, yet they seem too often overlooked when concussions are discussed in mainstream media,’’ said Snedaker, who has a Master's Degree in Social Work.
She cited a report, the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine Position Statement: Concussion in Sport 2012, in which data indicates in sports with similar rules female athletes sustain more concussions than their male counterparts. In addition, female athletes experience or report a higher number and severity of symptoms as well as a longer duration of recovery than male athletes in several studies.
The survey will also explore female athletes' experiences with reporting concussions, because many athletes do not report concussions willingly or are misdiagnosed.
The research also will investigate female athletes' willingness to have genetic testing that may show links to the repair and recovery of brain cells after concussion. After finishing the survey, participants in the study can opt for an additional study and consider submitting DNA collected by a cheek swab to be tested for variants at the Apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene. Testing for certain genes has previously documented an association between specific genetic factors and outcomes from injuries such as concussion.
The research will be beneficial in shedding light on female athletes’ experiences with concussions and reporting concussions. Often female athletes are omitted from the public discourse surrounding concussions and the results of this research will assist concussion advocates in raising more awareness about concussion issues in sports.
Co-researchers with Snedaker in this study are Dr. Jimmy Sanderson and Dr. Melinda Weathers in the Department of Communication Studies at Clemson University. Athletes who played any sport at any level are invited to take the survey. To learn more, visit PinkConcussions.com.