Sommeil et rythmes circadiens à la suite d'un traumatisme craniocérébral

Chercheurs boursiers - Junior 1 | Concours 2012-2013

Nadia Gosselin

Centre de recherche de l'Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal


Domaine : Neurosciences, santé mentale et toxicomanies

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of mortality and disability among young adults in industrialized countries. TBI often results in physical, cognitive and psychological impairments that interfere with the return to normal life. Fatigue, hypersomnia, and insomnia, are among the most persistent and the most reported and disabling symptoms after TBI. Clinical observations in acute care setting suggest that sleep-wake disturbances appear in the first weeks after TBI, with patients having insomnia, inability to stay awake for a few consecutive hours during the day and/or altered sleep-wake cycles, the latter suggesting circadian clock dysfunctions. Acute sleep-wake disturbances can be a significant contributor to short-term and long-term cognitive, physical, and neurobehavioral impairments resulting from TBI. In fact, sleep is necessary for learning, cerebral plasticity, and for generation of new neurons in the adult human brain. Improvements in sleep quality in the acute stage after TBI possibly improve patient recovery. It has been suggested that exposure to light during the day and to darkness during the night might improve circadian clock rhythms and therefore, the quality of sleep in intensive care unit. This research program aims at understanding sleep and circadian clock disorders observed in patients with severe TBI in the acute stage. Moreover, the detrimental effects of sleep and circadian clock disorders on recovery will be investigated. Finally, light treatment to improve the signal of the circadian clock will be used in this population during their hospital stay.