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Dietary amino acids improve sleep problems in mice with traumatic brain injury
Date:12/11/2013

PORTLAND, Ore. Scientists have discovered how to fix sleep disturbances in mice with traumatic brain injuries a discovery that could lead to help for hundreds of thousands of people who have long-term and debilitating sleep and wakefulness issues after they suffer concussions.

What scientists found helpful was giving the mice something all humans produce from foods in their normal diets something called branched chain amino acids.

"If further research confirms what this study suggests, we could develop a dietary supplement of these amino acids that could be a viable therapy to help people after a concussion," said Miranda Lim, M.D., Ph.D., a neurologist and sleep medicine specialist at the Portland VA Medical Center and an assistant professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine, neurology and behavioral neuroscience at Oregon Health & Science University. Lim is the first author of the study, published online today in Science Translational Medicine.

Lim performed this research during her sleep medicine fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. Senior authors on the study are Akiva S. Cohen, Ph.D., a neuroscientist at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Allan I. Pack, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Nearly 2 million people a year in the United States suffer a traumatic brain injury, including concussion, which is considered a mild traumatic brain injury. Sleep disturbances are common in those with TBI; some studies show up to 72 percent of TBI patients including those who've suffered concussions have sleep problems.

Sleep problems impair attention and memory formation in TBI patients, who have a higher rate of functional disability and a higher cost of rehabilitation.

"Sleep disturbances, such as excessive daytime sleepiness and nighttime insomnia, disrupt quality of life a
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Contact: Todd Murphy
murphyt@ohsu.edu
503-494-8231
Oregon Health & Science University
Source:Eurekalert

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