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Women donate brains to bolster research into traumatic brain injuries

The Department of Veterans Affairs and PINK Concussions are working together to research traumatic brain injuries in women.
Credit: 13News Now

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.(WVEC) -- When most people hear "traumatic brain injuries" they think of NFL players or men on the front lines of battle or war.

The fact is women are just as vulnerable to injury any time their heads are hit and there brains are shaken inside their skulls.

Here's another fact: There has been little research done on traumatic brain injuries in women.

One more fact: The world's largest brain bank, the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank, which houses donated brains used in research, has fewer than 10 female brains in it.

People at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Biorepository Brain Bank are working to increase the amount of research into female brain injuries.

The VA is collaborating with PINK Concussions, a non-profit group focused on improving "pre-injury education and post-injury medical care for women and girls" challenged by brain injuries that come from sports, domestic violence, accidents, and military service.

The partnership will help researchers better understand traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and post-traumatic stress disorder in women and girls caused by concussions.

More than 200 people already pledged to donate their brain to the VA’s brain bank for the research.

One of the brain donors, Brittni Sauder, has had more than 20 concussions.

“It’s like an out of body experience. You know, because you are there somewhere, but you are just dealing with so many symptoms that are clouding you from really being present in everyday life," explained 25-year-old Sauder.

Join us for 13News Now at 11 p.m. on Monday, April 30 as we look into traumatic brain injuries in girls and women and meet some of the people who are donating their brains to science to make a difference.

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