We observed 63 Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom veterans who had reported exposure to explosions that produced mild traumatic brain injury (concussion). All veterans had headaches; posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD); and neurological problems, usually impaired smell. At the start, they had >13 headaches a month, severe headache pain, increased daytime sleepiness, and mild cognitive impairment. The veterans received sleep hygiene counseling and the drug prazosin at bedtime. After 9 weeks, the veterans had less headache pain, fewer headaches, better cognitive and sleepiness scores, and less severe PTSD, but neurological problems and sense of smell did not change. Six months later, the veterans had further reductions in headache pain, headache frequency, and PTSD severity and improved sleepiness scores but still no change in neurological problems. PTSD severity and impaired sleep are associated with cognitive impairment and headaches due to combat-acquired mild traumatic brain injury.
Volume 49 Number 9, 2012
Pages 1305 — 1320
Last Reviewed or Updated Monday, January 7, 2013 10:03 AM