TBI, OSA Combination Affects Cognitive Function

by U.S. Medicine

July 7, 2017

WASHINGTON—Patients with TBI are considered to be at high risk for the development of sleep disorders, especially obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

In a study published in the journal Neurology, researchers posited that the combination of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and untreated OSA might compound consequences of both, such as cognitive dysfunction, which can greatly affect all aspects of functioning and quality of life.1

To determine relationships between polysomnographic and clinical sleep measures and performance on cognitive testing in veterans with mild/moderate TBI and OSA, researchers from the Washington D.C. VAMC conducted a prospective pilot study examining veterans diagnosed with both conditions.

Results indicated that the Hypopnea Index was associated with the Stroop Interference score, which measures executive function and response inhibition. The number of blast injuries was inversely related to sleep efficiency, total sleep time in nonrapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and performance in a section of the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test which evaluates immediate memory.

The Detectability score, which assesses attention, on the Conners’ Continuous Performance Test III was correlated with reductions in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Higher scores on the Epworth Sleepiness Scale predicted performance on components of Digit Span, a subtest from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Fourth Edition that measures attention and working memory.

“In our prospective pilot study of veterans with TBI and OSA, sleep-disordered breathing and sleep disturbances were significantly associated with inferior performance on cognitive measures of executive function and attention respectively. Increased exposure to blasts also had a significant correlation with sleep architecture changes and diminished memory,” study authors concluded. “Treatment of OSA in veterans with TBI could offer new opportunities to improve cognitive function and positively impact rehabilitation potential for these patients.”

  1. Kataria L, Sundahl C, Skalina L, Shah M, Balish M, Chapman J. A Pilot Study of Cognition in Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (S14.008). April 18, 2017, Vol. 88, No. 16 Supplement S14.008

Comments are closed here.


Related Articles

Best Pain Rating Scales for Cognitively Impaired Veterans

RICHMOND, VA—Cognitive-behavioral impairment can be intensified by pain in traumatic brain injury patients and impede rehabilitation efforts, according to a new study. While multiple self-report pain assessment tools are proven reliable in cognitively intact adults... View Article

Combat PTSD/TBI Increases Amygdala Size in Military Patients

SAN DIEGO—The region of the brain that processes fear, anxiety, aggression and similar emotions is larger in veterans and active-duty service members with combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder and mild traumatic brain injury than those with... View Article


U.S. Medicine Recommends


More From tbi

TBI

Best Pain Rating Scales for Cognitively Impaired Veterans

RICHMOND, VA—Cognitive-behavioral impairment can be intensified by pain in traumatic brain injury patients and impede rehabilitation efforts, according to a new study. While multiple self-report pain assessment tools are proven reliable in cognitively intact adults... View Article

TBI

Combat PTSD/TBI Increases Amygdala Size in Military Patients

SAN DIEGO—The region of the brain that processes fear, anxiety, aggression and similar emotions is larger in veterans and active-duty service members with combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder and mild traumatic brain injury than those with... View Article

TBI

DoD, VA Still Struggle with Diagnosing, Treating Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries

Diagnosing and treating mild traumatic brain injury continues to pose challenges for clinicians, TBI experts told lawmakers.

TBI

New Research Addresses Unique Challenges to Brain Health Faced by Servicemembers

Neuroscientists are tackling some of the challenges to brain health predominantly experienced by servicemembers – and that has important implications for the broader population.

TBI

Mild TBI Improved by Low-Impulse Electric Stimulation

Low-impulse electrical stimulation (LIP-tES) to the brain shows promise in improving neural function in mild traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Subscribe to U.S. Medicine Print Magazine

U.S. Medicine is mailed free each month to physicians, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and administrators working for Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and U.S. Public Health Service.

Subscribe Now

Receive Our Email Newsletter

Stay informed about federal medical news, clinical updates and reports on government topics for the federal healthcare professional.

Sign Up