Sleep Disturbances in TBI and PTSD and Potential Risk of Neurodegeneration

Kris B. Weymann, Miranda Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: The purpose of this article is to present (1) a scoping review of recent evidence demonstrating the association of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with sleep disturbances and neurodegeneration, and (2) a more focused, systematic review of the association between TBI, PTSD, and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), adherence to PAP therapy, and cognitive outcomes. Recent Findings: TBI and PTSD are strongly associated with sleep disruption. Multiple convergent lines of evidence indicate that sleep disruption, including in those with OSA, is a risk factor for neurodegeneration. TBI and PTSD have also been independently associated with neurodegeneration. Positive airway pressure (PAP) treatment of OSA in TBI and PTSD is effective but can be challenging. Untreated OSA is associated with impaired cognitive outcomes in this population. Summary: TBI and PTSD are both common neuropsychiatric illnesses associated with sleep disturbances and subsequent neurodegeneration, and are often comorbid conditions. Adequate treatment of OSA and other sleep disturbances in TBI and PTSD may be critical to mitigating the risk of neurodegeneration in these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-192
Number of pages14
JournalCurrent Sleep Medicine Reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


  • Neurodegeneration
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Positive airway pressure
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Sleep
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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