Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) Correlates of Self-Reported Sleep Quality and Depression Following Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Adam C. Raikes, Sahil Bajaj, Natalie S. Dailey, Ryan S. Smith, Anna Alkozei, Brieann C. Satterfield, William D. S. Killgore
  • Frontiers in Neurology, June 2018, Frontiers Media SA
  • DOI: 10.3389/fneur.2018.00468

White matter integrity correlates with self-reported sleep quality after concussions.

What is it about?

Recent work has demonstrated that concussions, and broader class of mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs), are associated both with increased incidence of altered sleep patterns as well as decreases in white matter integrity. Here, we sought to identify the relationship between white matter, self-reported sleep disruption, and depressive symptoms. 52 individuals participated in the study. We did not find whole-brain differences between individuals with and without recent mTBIs. We did find that, for those with an mTBI, increased self-reported sleep disruption and increased depressive symptoms were associated with decreased indices of white matter integrity throughout the brain.

Why is it important?

This study adds to a growing literature base demonstrating a relationship between white-matter structure and clinical measures following mTBI. We have identified that the self-reported presentation of poor sleep quality and depressive symptoms following mTBI correlates with lower white-matter integrity in multiple areas of the brain involved in sleep-wake cycle and emotion regulation, in addition to information processing, cognitive control, attention, and executive function.


Adam C Raikes (Author)
University of Arizona

Sleep is vital to cognitive, physical, emotional, cardiovascular, and metabolic health as well as overall quality of life. Mild traumatic brain injuries have detrimental effects on many of those functions, compounded by poor sleep. Understanding the underpinnings of sleep disruption following mTBI helps move us one step closer to effective treatment methods.

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