Traumatic brain injury may trigger sleep disturbances

As a personal injury firm that focuses on brain injuries, we caution against underestimating the impact of head trauma. Even if initial symptoms seem mild, a traumatic brain injury may develop into long-term difficulties. 

In fact, a recent study found yet another complication arising from even mild cases of TBI: sleep disturbances. According to research, up to 70 percent of TBI victims may experience insomnia, sleep apnea, fatigue or narcolepsy, or other sleep complaints. 

The good news is that there are tests to help diagnose TBI-related sleep disorders, such as multiple sleep latency testing, polysomnography, and actigraphy. There are also treatments that may provide some relief including medications, behavioral modifications, and positive airway pressure. However, the study cautioned against assuming that sleep disorder treatments would also improve other TBI symptoms, such as reduced neuropsychological functioning. 

Another notable aspect of the study explored the various causes of TBI injuries. Over one-quarter of TBI cases are the result of falls, and another 20 percent are the result of motor vehicle accidents. From a legal perspective, understanding the full impact of one’s injuries is vital when bringing a civil lawsuit for negligence. Whether the claim is against an unsafe driver or a neglectful nursing home, a victim deserves to be fully compensated for his or her injuries and any long-term symptoms, including pain and suffering, lost earning capacity, and/or reduced mobility or quality of life. Before accepting a premature settlement offer, make sure you have fully explored your options and the potential litigation hazards. It may be worth your effort to bring the fight to a jury in a civil trial.

Source: Dove Press, “Traumatic brain injury-induced sleep disorders,” Mari Viola-Saltzman and Camelia Musleh, Feb. 15, 2016

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