Bright Light Therapy for Treatment of Sleep Problems Following Mild TBI
Technical Report,30 Sep 2014,29 Sep 2015
University of Arizona Tucson United States
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Mild traumatic brain injury mTBI is one of the major health problems facing military servicemembers returning fromdeployments. Given the large number of military personnel returning from combat operations in Iraq or Afghanistan withreported or suspected head injuries Hoge et al., 2008, the outcome of the light treatment being tested in present studycould have significant impact on the delivery of health care to returning military veterans. Other than cognitive-behavioraltherapies and avoidance of re-injury, there are few alternative treatments for patients suffering from post-concussivesymptoms secondary to a mild traumatic brain injury mTBI. Alternative approaches to treatment, or adjunctive approachesthat can be used to augment ongoing treatments, are clearly needed. Because sleep disruption is one of the primary complaintsof individuals following mTBI, and sleep is critical to neurogenesis and neural plasticity, sleep enhancement seems to be anideal candidate for direct intervention. If the sleep problems can be improved, it is more likely that other aspects ofrecovery will be accelerated. With sleep improvement, we expect that emotional difficulties will be reduced, ongoingadjunctive treatments will be enhanced, and brain functioning can be restored to the fullest extent possible. Furthermore,non-pharmacologic interventions are generally preferable and more cost effective than reliance upon prescription medicationsfor sleep problems. Therefore, it is hypothesized that by using light therapy to entrain the circadian sleep-wake cycle, wemay improve sleep in a sample of individuals with a recent history of concussion, and thereby increase the likelihood thatthey will recover more quickly, benefit more extensively from other forms of therapy, and build emotional and cognitiveresilience.