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Traumatic brain injury-induced sleep disorders

Authors Viola-Saltzman M, Musleh C

Received 13 March 2015

Accepted for publication 30 November 2015

Published 15 February 2016 Volume 2016:12 Pages 339—348

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S69105

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder


Mari Viola-Saltzman, Camelia Musleh

Department of Neurology, NorthShore University HealthSystem, Evanston, IL, USA

Abstract: Sleep disturbances are frequently identified following traumatic brain injury, affecting 30%–70% of persons, and often occur after mild head injury. Insomnia, fatigue, and sleepiness are the most frequent sleep complaints after traumatic brain injury. Sleep apnea, narcolepsy, periodic limb movement disorder, and parasomnias may also occur after a head injury. In addition, depression, anxiety, and pain are common brain injury comorbidities with significant influence on sleep quality. Two types of traumatic brain injury that may negatively impact sleep are acceleration/deceleration injuries causing generalized brain damage and contact injuries causing focal brain damage. Polysomnography, multiple sleep latency testing, and/or actigraphy may be utilized to diagnose sleep disorders after a head injury. Depending on the disorder, treatment may include the use of medications, positive airway pressure, and/or behavioral modifications. Unfortunately, the treatment of sleep disorders associated with traumatic brain injury may not improve neuropsychological function or sleepiness.

Keywords: traumatic brain injury, insomnia, hypersomnia, sleep apnea, periodic limb movement disorder, fatigue

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