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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-19824

Baumann, C R; Werth, E; Stocker, R; Ludwig, S; Bassetti, C L (2007). Sleep-wake disturbances 6 months after traumatic brain injury: a prospective study. Brain: A Journal of Neurology, 130(7):1873-1883.

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Sleep-wake disturbances (SWD) are common after traumatic brain injury (TBI). In acute TBI, we recently found decreased CSF levels of hypocretin-1, a wake-promoting neurotransmitter. In the present study, we aimed to delineate the frequency and clinical characteristics of post-traumatic SWD, to assess CSF hypocretin-1 levels 6 months after TBI, and to identify risk factors for posttraumatic SWD. A total of 96 consecutive patients were enrolled within the first 4 days after TBI. Six months later, out of 76 TBI patients, who did not die and who did not move to foreign countries, we included 65 patients (86%, 53 males, mean age 39 years) in our study. Patients were examined using interviews, questionnaires, clinical examinations, computed tomography of the brain, laboratory tests (including CSF hypocretin-1 levels, and HLA typing), conventional polysomnography, maintenance of wakefulness and multiple sleep latency tests (MSLT) and actigraphy. Potential causes of post-traumatic SWD were assessed according to international criteria. New-onset sleep-wake disturbances following TBI were found in 47 patients (72%): subjective excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS; defined by the Epworth Sleepiness Scale > or = 10) was found in 18 (28%), objective EDS (as defined by mean sleep latency < 5 min on MSLT) in 16 (25%), fatigue (daytime tiredness without signs of subjective or objective EDS) in 11 (17%), post-traumatic hypersomnia 'sensu strictu' (increased sleep need of > or = 2 h per 24 h compared to pre-TBI) in 14 (22%) patients and insomnia in 3 patients (5%). In 28 patients (43% of the study population), we could not identify a specific cause of the post-traumatic SWD other than TBI. Low CSF hypocretin-1 levels were found in 4 of 21 patients 6 months after TBI, as compared to 25 of 27 patients in the first days after TBI. Hypocretin levels 6 months after TBI were significantly lower in patients with post-traumatic EDS. There were no associations between post-traumatic SWD and severity or localization of TBI, general clinical outcome, gender, pathological neurological findings and HLA typing. However, post-traumatic SWD correlated with impaired quality of life. These results suggest that sleep-wake disturbances, particularly EDS, fatigue and hypersomnia are common after TBI, and significantly impair quality of life. In almost one out of two patients, post-traumatic SWD appear to be directly related to the TBI. An involvement of the hypocretin system in the pathophysiology of post-traumatic SWD appears possible. Other risk factors predisposing towards the development of post-traumatic SWD were not identified.


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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Division of Surgical Intensive Care Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Date:July 2007
Deposited On:16 Sep 2009 12:51
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:18
Publisher:Oxford University Press
Publisher DOI:10.1093/brain/awm109
Official URL:http://brain.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/130/7/1873
PubMed ID:17584779

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