Persistent mild TBI symptoms in kids may negatively affect sleep
Sleep-related problems (SRPs) appear to be more common among children with persistent symptoms after a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) episode, reports a new study.
Researchers conducted a prospective controlled cohort study of 83 children who had persistent symptoms 4–6 weeks after mTBI. The Post-Concussion Symptom Inventory (PCSI) was used to track SRPs, while sleep actigraphy was used to evaluate sleep quality 37 days after the episode. Twenty-six children who had recovered and 25 healthy controls were also included.
Sports-related incidents were the most common cause of injury (67 percent), followed by falls and motor vehicle crashes. Participants who had persistent symptoms had sustained significantly more previous mTBIs than their recovered and control counterparts.
Relative to the recovered participants, children with persistent symptoms scored higher on the PCSI tool when excluding results of the sleep subscale (median, 26 vs 2; p<0.001). Postinjury scores in the PCSI Total Sleep scale was likewise worse in symptomatic patients (median, 8 vs 0; p<0.011).
In general, SRPs were significantly more common among those who remained symptomatic at 4–6 weeks compared with children who recovered (p<0.001). This was driven by difficulties in falling asleep (27.7 percent vs 11.5 percent), fatigue (25 percent vs 4 percent), drowsiness (17 percent vs 0 percent), sleeping more than usual (15 percent vs 4 percent) and sleeping less than usual (11 percent vs 0 percent).
Despite this, general linear regression analysis of actigraphy data found no significant group differences in terms of efficiency, sleep duration, sleep onset latency or wake after sleep onset.