Dr. Maheen Mausoof Adamson joine the International Women’s Day celebrations hosted by KPFA Radio. Listeners heard the voices of women from around the world celebrating women’s lives, discussing the various forms activism and the arts they are engaging, and giving listeners insights into the pasts that shaped them, the activism and emotional and relational practices needed to traverse the current political climate, and embracing self-care and joy as radical acts.

Protecting Our Brains and Understanding Sex Differences. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a sudden injury that causes damage to the brain.

It may happen when there is a blow, bump, or jolt to the head. It’s important to know the signs of one so you don’t delay treatment. 

Dr Maheen Adamson shares her insight into this topic with us in today’s episode – learn more about how TBI affects men and women differently.


Same injury, different brain. Exploring how women’s trauma recovery differs from men’s.

Hanae Armitage from the Stanford Medicine Magazine interviewed Odette Harris, MD and Maheen Mausoof Adamson, PhD on their research findings into the impact of the aftermath of traumatic brain injury and the big gender differences their discovered. The article dicusses the findings that women with brain injury trauma and other severe injuries typically show higher rates of depression, substance abuse, memory problems and homelessness, among other troubles, than men with brain trauma.

Military-related TBI: the State of the Research in the DOD and VA 

Executive Director of QuestGen, Nicole F. Roberts, Dr.P.H. hosted a round table event with  Russell Gore, M.D., Maheen Mausoof Adamson, PhD, and Sidney R. Hinds II, MD, FAAN on the topic of TBI. The panelists take a look into research focused on current military and veterans living with challenges from TBI. Watch the replay to hear more about (1) How researchers are using data to frame the issue, (2) The specific nature of the challenges faced by this veteran population, (3)  What unique needs this population will have as they age, and (4) Existing gaps in the treatment of veterans with TBI.

International Perspectives on Gender, Stress, and COVID19 Syndemic

Professor Margo Okazawa-Rey discussed the COVID pandemic's impact on women worldwide with Dr. Adamson. Women are feeling more pressure than men, at work and home, they are more exhausted, burned out, and under pressure than men. Accompanying loss of income and greater demands on time, paired with limited opportunities for support and self-care are contributing factors. Disruptions to day-care centers, schools, and after-school programs have impacted working mothers significantly, as they take on childcare responsibilities and homeschooling. 

Uncovering Unknowns in TBI: Exploring Differences Women

Dr. Andrew Wilner speaks to Dr. Adamson about the special epidemiology, pathophysiology, and treatment considerations for mental health issues in women following brain injury. Symptom reporting and prevalence rates - women in the military are more likely than males to experience PTSD,  4 times more likely to have substance abuse, 2.7 times more likely to be unemployed. High incidence of intimate partner violence and intimate partner violence in female Veterans than in the civilian population.

Women & Mental Health: Taking a Targeted Treatment Approach

Tune in to hear Dr. Maheen Mausoof Adamson discuss her study on mental health in women and how we can take a more targeted treatment approach. One thing that’s really important in mental health, is to know about the range of available treatments - be they  pharmacological or noninvasive treatment such as biofeedback, cognitive rehabilitation or brain stimulation. One of the techniques is repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, that uses electromagnets and certain frequencies to inhibit or excite neurons in the brain.

Gender Differences in TBI - Implications for Tailored Care

As the number of women in active military service and extreme sports increases, so does their risk of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Dr. Adamson speculated anatomical variations between sexes, such as skull size, neck size, and hormonal differences, may play a role in injury severity and healing. Her team’s research revealed thatTBI can vary depending upon gender. Similar injuries resulted in greater anxiety, cognitive dysfunction, depression, PTSD, and vertigo in women than men. These gender differences may be critical to individualized care.


Traumatic Brain Injury Among Female Veterans Unique Insights

In military conflicts since 2000, more than 383,947 military personnel have sustained Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). The majority of the non-penetrating TBI’s sustained were classified as mild (mTBI) resulting in a research focus on this sub-population. Numerous publications have detailed this cohort’s psychological and functional outcomes. However, these data represent a cohort that is almost entirely male (~95%). Despite the growing presence of females in the military, and even though females accounted for up to 15% of the classified mTBI cases as reported by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center in 2010, females were either included as part of the cohort and not separately analyzed or were excluded in these studies.

Service & Veteran Females Recover Differently From Concussion

Female veterans may have a harder time performing some mental tasks after a mild traumatic brain injury or concussion, according to a recent study supported by the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, a division of the Defense Health Agency Research and Development Directorate. The study compared male and female veterans who had experienced concussions to more accurately assess whether each gender experienced different symptoms following injury. After adjusting for factors such as marital status, service branch, living situation, and vocation, the results showed female veterans had a harder time performing mental tasks such as difficulty concentrating and forgetfulness, which could slow recovery to normal activities. 

Casual Conversations

Katherine Snedaker, CEO and Founder, PINK, discusses Concussions with Dr. Adamson. A VA and Stanford researcher focused on traumatic brain injury (TBI), a PINK Professional Board Member, and health advocate for women. Dr. Adamson talks sheds light on the lack of sex differences reported in brain stimulation treatment studies particularly in relevance to traumatic brain injury. Her paper, Sex Differences in Neuromodulation Treatment Approaches for Traumatic Brain Injury: A Scoping Review. Provides an update to the TBI community on the current state of evidence in reporting sex differences across these 3 neuromodulatory treatments of post-TBI sequelae. The proposed recommendations aim to improve future research and clinical treatment of all individuals suffering from post-TBI sequelae.

2019 & 2018

Zapping with Precision

Bill Glovin, editor of Cerebrum and executive editor of the Dana Foundation, spoke to Dr. Adamson about brain-based devices that claim to help people develop muscle memory faster, lose weight, sleep better, overcome depression, anxiety,  even addiction. Many of the devices cite science as backing up their claims. How many of these claims are scientifically valid? As consumers, how can we separate hype from science? Dr. Adamson discusses the neuromodulation field, its potential, and what inspires her research. Dr. Adamson explains that brain stimulation and neuromodulation are used in the literature sometimes as one and the same. However, brain stimulation is actually the act of stimulating the brain, and neuromodulation is what happens when you stimulate the brain, and what is the result of the brain stimulation. 

Brain Injury Awareness Month

The Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC's) a Head for the Future Initiative speaks to Dr. Maheen Adamson, senior scientific research director at DVBIC. Dr. Adamson explains some of the different effects of traumatic brain injury between men and women and talk about the importance of continued research into sex differences when it comes to TBI. DVBIC now known as the Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence (TBICoE) is a congressionally mandated collaboration of the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs to promote state-of-the-science care from point-of-injury to reintegration for service members, veterans, and their families to prevent and mitigate consequences of mild to severe traumatic brain injury.

Women of Neurosurgery

Stanford's Department of Neurosurgery faculty is nearly 25% female, an unprecendented level compared to other Neurosurgery programs around the country, and the world. But there is still much room to improve parity, and to make the path to success in this field less burdensome and stigmatized for women. Women across the Department share their experiences as females in the fields of science and medicine. From what got them hooked on science as children, or motivated them to become doctors, to their determination to overcome the bumps they faced on the road to becoming neurosurgeons. By sharing their stories, we may inspire more young girls to pursue careers in science, and eliminate some of the myths associated with women pursuing one of the most complex and demanding specialties in medicine.