Each year, thousands of people experience minor head injuries, often called concussions, that end up in hospitals and emergency departments. The most common causes of concussions are falls, violence, bicycle accidents, and sports-related injuries. Headache, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, increased desire to sleep, or difficulty falling or staying asleep are typical in the first few days after a severe concussion.
A study published in the Journal of Neurotrauma found that persistent concussion symptoms can be particularly detrimental to sleep. The study included 378 patients who had a concussion and were treated in one of Trondheim’s two emergency departments. They were followed for a year after their injuries.
“Most people recover completely from their problems in a short period of time, but some suffer long-term problems that affect their quality of life, work, and school,” psychology. Patients with concussion were compared to two control groups: patients with other types of injuries that did not involve the head, and volunteer participants without injuries.
“Problems such as increased need for sleep, poor sleep quality, daytime sleepiness, and fatigue are much more common and last longer after a concussion than after other types of injury. In this study, 136 participants experienced sleep or daytime problems 2 weeks after injury, and of these, 72 patients, or 53%, had problems lasting longer than 3 months. was holding
Internationally, this study is unique for its size and degree of close patient follow-up. This study provides new knowledge that is clinically relevant even for large patient groups. It is important to understand how patients who suffer post-concussion symptoms differ from those who recover spontaneously.
“Sleep problems are often associated with problems such as poor memory, poor concentration, depression and anxiety. Treating sleep problems as soon as possible after a concussion can help prevent such problems. It can be delayed or prevented,” said Berg Saksvik. Alexander Olsen is an associate professor of psychology and a neuropsychologist at the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinic at St. Olavs Hospital. In his clinical research at the hospital, Olsen encounters a patient who has been ill for many years following a concussion.
The primary goal of the clinic is to reduce symptoms associated with concussion and enhance the level of functioning of patients with such illnesses. “Today, there is no standard treatment known to work for all patients with long-term post-concussion pain,” says Olsen.
One reason is that we don’t know enough about why some people develop post-concussion problems and others don’t. Another reason is that patients often have multiple illnesses at the same time, and it can be difficult to know what is related to what. Perhaps we should stop treating all concussion patients the same way.
“Unless the cause is known, it may be more appropriate to offer treatments known to be effective for a variety of specific ailments, such as headaches, sleep disorders, and anxiety,” Olsen said. increase. Say. The findings also show that factors that directly affect brain health play a role in the development of sleep disorders, with long-lasting symptoms.
Researchers delve into the underlying mechanisms that could explain these links between sleep and brain health. “I’m sorry,” says Olsen.
Olsen finds it interesting that sleep problems are so common, especially after a concussion, and seem to last so long for many patients. “Although more effective treatments for sleep disorders have been developed over time, these have not been systematically tested in this patient group.In other patient groups, studies have shown successful treatment of sleep disorders. It has been shown that patients clear up when they do so,” he says. says.
The researchers hope that this may also help many patients who have had concussions. We are planning a new therapeutic study for patients with sleep disorders. The new insights could also help other patients suffering from sleep problems, including those with various types of mental and neurological disorders.
Recent research suggests that both concussions and sleep disturbances may be associated with inflammation in the brain and the rest of the body. “We now plan to use brain imaging and blood tests collected from these individuals to investigate a biological explanatory model for sleep disorders,” said Berg Saksvik. increase.
MRI images can show whether there are changes in the brain associated with sleep problems. “One of the advantages is that we can take MRI images of him at several time points after the injury, so we can look at how these images develop over time,” Berg said. Saksvik said.
The preliminary findings were made possible through interdisciplinary collaboration across the NTNU laboratories and the clinical setting of St. Olav Hospital. The research group also includes Associate Professor and Physician Trill Skansen, who leads the Trondheim Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Follow-up Study, a comprehensive study with data.
The researchers are grateful to the patients who contributed to their research. (Ani)
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