Study into concussion within women's rugby launched by Swansea University

Concussion has become a more prevalent issue in a number of sports (PA Images)
Concussion has become a more prevalent issue in a number of sports (PA Images)
10:51am, Mon 10 Feb 2020
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Swansea University have launched a study to investigate why female rugby players are more likely to suffer concussion than male players.

Men and women have been wearing mouth guards since September to see how it affects impacts on their heads during games

The results from this found that women are more likely to sustain concussions.

The study is also trying to determine whether the way in which women's teams train has an affect on the volume of concussions.

Elizabeth Williams, who is a senior lecturer in biomedical science in charge of the study, told the BBC: "Head impacts in the men's game are usually caused by player to player contact whereas with the women it's often head to ground, or head to knee.

"That's enabled us to be specific about how we can train the women differently to improve the areas where the women are weaker, which might not necessarily be the same as men, so we train them as women and not as small men.

"Recent research in the neurology field has reported that axons [nerve fibres] in women's brains are a lot thinner and they have fewer microtubules [hollow tubes that give shape to cells].

"They suggest that, subject to the same external force, a woman's brain will have a higher risk of injury than a man's brain. Collecting objective data about how hard these players are hitting their head can help us develop strategies to limit brain injury."

The results of the study will be published later in the year.

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