A study published recently in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience found that although traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can disrupt sleep, patients who can sleep after a TBI receive the same memory-consolidating benefits of sleep as their peers without brain injuries.
Disruptions in sleep and memory are common symptoms after a traumatic brain injury. Even patients who suffer a mild TBI may struggle to sleep well and to remember things. In most people, sleep helps the brain retain information it has learned during the day. Researchers wanted to know whether people with TBIs would also find it easier to remember things after they slept, even though the TBI did affect their sleep.
Researchers followed 26 patients with TBI and 30 control patients. Each person was given a list of word pairs to memorize then tested on their recall after they had either been awake for 12 hours or had slept for 12 hours.
Although sleep studies showed that the TBI patients had different sleep patterns than the non-TBI participants, both groups found it easier to remember the word pairs they’d memorized after 12 hours of sleep than they did after 12 hours of being awake. The results indicate that sleep does continue to benefit memory after a traumatic brain injury. Researchers hope that these findings, along with the results of other studies, will help doctors find ways to help TBI patients recover more quickly and more fully.
At Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., our experienced Princeton, New Jersey catastrophic injury lawyers can help you seek the compensation you deserve after a traumatic brain injury or other serious harm. Contact us today to learn more.