Cortical excitability changes in patients with sleep-wake disturbances after traumatic brain injury.
ABSTRACT Although chronic sleepiness is common after head trauma, the cause remains unclear. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) represents a useful complementary approach in the study of sleep pathophysiology. We aimed to determine in this study whether post-traumatic sleep-wake disturbances (SWD) are associated with changes in excitability of the cerebral cortex. TMS was performed 3 months after mild to moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI) in 11 patients with subjective excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS; defined by the Epworth Sleepiness Scale ≥10), 12 patients with objective EDS (as defined by mean sleep latency <5 on multiple sleep latency tests), 11 patients with fatigue (defined by daytime tiredness without signs of subjective or objective EDS), 10 patients with post-traumatic hypersomnia "sensu strictu," and 14 control subjects. Measures of cortical excitability included central motor conduction time, resting motor threshold (RMT), short-latency intracortical inhibition (SICI), and intracortical facilitation to paired-TMS. RMT was higher and SICI was more pronounced in the patients with objective EDS than in the control subjects. In the other patients all TMS parameters did not differ significantly from the controls. Similarly to that reported in patients with narcolepsy, the cortical hypoexcitability may reflect the deficiency of the excitatory hypocretin/orexin-neurotransmitter system. These observations may provide new insights into the causes of chronic sleepiness in patients with TBI. A better understanding of the pathophysiology of post-traumatic SWD may also lead to better therapeutic strategies in these patients.
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ABSTRACT: Numerous studies on the high prevalence of sleep disorders in individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) have been conducted in the past few decades. These disorders can accentuate other consequences of TBI, negatively impacting mood, exacerbating pain, heightening irritability, and diminishing cognitive abilities and the potential for recovery. Nevertheless, sleep is not routinely assessed in this population. In our review, we examined the selective screening criteria and the scientific evidence regarding screening for post-TBI sleep disorders to identify gaps in our knowledge that are in need of resolution. We retrieved papers written in the English-language literature before June 2012 pertinent to the discussion on sleep after TBI found through a PubMed search. Within our research, we found that sleep dysfunction is highly burdensome after TBI, treatment interventions for some sleep disorders result in favorable outcomes, sensitive and specific tests to detect sleep disorders are available, and the cost-effectiveness and sustainability of screening have been determined from other populations. The evidence we reviewed supports screening for post-TBI sleep dysfunction. This approach could improve the outcomes and reduce the risks for post-TBI adverse health and nonhealth effects (e.g., secondary injuries). A joint sleep and brain injury collaboration focusing on outcomes is needed to improve our knowledge.Sleep Medicine 09/2013; · 3.49 Impact Factor
- Sleep Medicine 08/2013; · 3.49 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to determine if there is an association between tentorial length and angle and sleep-wake disturbances in patients with mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). MATERIALS AND METHODS. MRI examinations of the brain of 34 consecutive patients with mild TBI with sleep-wake disturbance and 30 patients with mild TBI without sleep-wake disturbance were retrospectively reviewed. The length of the tentorium on a sagittal T1-weighted image (tentorial length) and the angle formed between the tentorium and a line through the foramen magnum (tentorial angle) were measured. Results were correlated with both neuropsychologic testing and any sleep-wake disturbance. RESULTS. No significant difference existed between patients with and without sleep-wake disturbances in terms of age (p = 0.44), sex (p = 0.13), Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment Cognitive Test total symptom score (p = 0.10), verbal memory score (p = 0.32), visual memory score (p = 0.31), processing speed (p = 0.15), or reaction time (p = 0.84). Tentorial length in patients with mild TBI with sleep-wake disturbances was significantly longer than patients with mild TBI without sleep-wake disturbances (p < 0.01), and tentorial angle was significantly smaller (p < 0.01). Tentorial angle was inversely correlated with length of time to recovery (p = 0.002), and tentorial length was directly correlated with length of time to recovery (p < 0.001). CONCLUSION. Among patients with mild TBI with similar cognitive function and symptom severity, those with sleep-wake disturbances have significantly longer tentorial length with a flatter angle than do patients with mild TBI without sleep symptoms, with length of time to recovery being directly correlated with tentorial length and indirectly correlated with tentorial angle. Direct impact between the tentorium and the pineal gland during mild TBI may lead to pineal gland injury, disruption of melatonin homeostasis, and sleep-wake disturbances.American Journal of Roentgenology 03/2014; 202(3):614-8. · 2.90 Impact Factor