Head Trauma That Causes Sleep Disorders May Increase Risk of Dementia: Study
According to the findings of a new study, individuals who suffer a head injury and have a sleep disorder may face an increased risk of developing dementia.
Researchers with the KITE Research Institute University Health Network indicate there appears to be a link between brain injuries which cause sleep disorders, and the development of dementia later in life.
The study was published last month in the medical journal Sleep, involving data on more more than 712,000 patients who were free of dementia when they were admitted to the emergency room or acute care hospital, and were diagnosed with traumatic brain injury between May 2003 and April 2013. All severities of traumatic brain injury (TBI) were included in the study.
Did You Know?
Millions of Philips CPAP Machines Recalled
Philips DreamStation, CPAP and BiPAP machines sold in recent years may pose a risk of cancer, lung damage and other injuries.Learn More
According to the findings, 5% of patients, nearly 33,000 in all, developed dementia. However, those who suffered a traumatic brain injury and who had a diagnosed sleep disorder had a 25% increased risk of later developing dementia.
Sleep disorders include conditions like sleep apnea, insomnia, night terrors, sleep walking and narcolepsy.
The study highlights the role brain injury may play as a risk factor for dementia, and the link between sleep disorders and dementia. It also showed there was little difference in the risks based on gender.
“Our study’s novelty is its confirmation of sleep disorders’ association with incident dementia in both male and female patients, independently of other known dementia risks,” lead author Dr. Tatyana Mollayeva, an affiliate scientist at the Kite Research Institute at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, said in a press release. “The strong links to incidence of dementia in both sexes suggest a need for more targeted sleep disorders risk awareness in patients with TBI.”
Prior studies have linked the risk of suffering a head injury and increased risk of dementia later in life. Other studies have also pointed to side effects of antidepressant use and the increased risk of dementia. Many patients with sleep disorders are often prescribed antidepressants off-label to help with sleep problems and anxiety.
The researchers emphasized the need to screen patients for sleep disorders, especially if they have a diagnosed traumatic brain injury of any severity. Undiagnosed sleep disorders can lead to a new set of side effects and concerns for TBI patients.
"*" indicates required fields
More Top Stories
With thousands of Bard hernia mesh lawsuits pending in the federal court system, a fourth bellwether trial will be held in the spring, involving allegations that defects with Bard 3DMax caused painful and permanent injuries.
A Tepezza hearing loss lawsuit accuses the manufacturer of failing to warn doctors to conduct hearing tests, which could have helped a woman avoid permanent hearing damage.
A South Dakota man has filed one of the first gastroparesis lawsuits against Ozempic manufacturers, alleging that users have not been adequately warned about the risk of severe vomiting and long-term stomach side effects.