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MedScape Today reports:
A new study using polysomnography confirms sleep disturbances in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI), including increased wake after sleep onset (WASO) and reduced sleep efficiency, an average of 14 months after their injury compared with healthy control subjects.

Other findings, including reduced evening melatonin production in these patients, as well as increased levels of depression and anxiety, may be contributing to these problems. Slow-wave sleep was also higher in patients with TBI vs healthy controls after controlling for depression.


Asked to comment on these findings on behalf of the American Academy of Neurology, Maurizio Corbetta, MD, from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, pointed out that although the association between TBI and sleep disturbance is not novel, "the result of lower melatonin in a TBI group is intriguing."

This is an important topic, Dr. Corbetta noted. "It's very common in these patients to have sleep problems, and it's well known that when you don't sleep very well your cognitive function is worse. Many of the cognitive deficits we see in people with TBI, postconcussive problems with concentration and working memory, attention, and irritability, sometimes are related to lack of sleep." Treating these sleep issues can improve these symptoms, so "finding some markers would be important," he added.

Read the complete article.

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