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Sleep disorders and traumatic brain injury

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2021 | Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries can have a multitude of effects on the people who deal with them, sometimes persisting for years. Residents of Virginia should know that research has shown a link between TBIs and sleep disorders. This information emerged thanks to a study of veterans.

The study

The study demonstrating the link between TBI and sleep disorders was conducted by the University of California at San Francisco and the VA. Researchers compared groups of veterans, some who had suffered TBIs and others who hadn’t. The study covered the years 2001-2015. In total, more than 200,000 veterans were included in the investigation. That figure represents members of the VA who were diagnosed with a sleep disorder over the 14-year time frame.

For the purposes of the study, the sleep disorders looked at were sleep apnea, insomnia, hypersomnia and sleep disorders linked to mental health issues. For example, people who have depression may present with symptoms that include disordered sleep. Ultimately, the data showed that people with TBIs were 41% more likely to have a sleep disorder.

This study also showed that veterans with TBIs were more likely to have accompanying psychiatric issues. These included addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder. Somewhat surprisingly, sleep disorders were more closely associated with mild traumatic brain injuries than with severe ones. It was also clear that sleep disorders can persist in veterans with TBIs for over a decade.

Getting legal help in the aftermath of a TBI

Clearly, traumatic brain injuries can be life-changing and persistent. People who have suffered brain injuries on the job or in a car accident should consider contacting an experienced attorney about their legal options. It may be possible to pursue a claim and receive damages.