Study suggests sound sleep could heal traumatic brain injuries

Getting a sound sleep at night is extremely important for one’s overall health, and now another benefit of a good night’s sleep has come to light. A new study has found that sound sleep plays a critical role in healing traumatic brain injury.

The findings of the study were published in the ‘Journal of Neurotrauma’. The study used a new technique involving magnetic resonance imaging developed at Oregon Health and Science University.

Researchers used MRI to evaluate the enlargement of perivascular spaces that surround blood vessels in the brain. Enlargement of these spaces occurs in aging and is associated with the development of dementia.

Among veterans in the study, those who slept poorly had more evidence of these enlarged spaces and more post-concussive symptoms.

“This has huge implications for the armed forces as well as civilians,” said lead author Juan Piantino, M.D., MCR, assistant professor of pediatrics (neurology) in the OHSU School of Medicine and Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.