Poor sleep in Gulf War vets may be tied to brain changes - 8 News NOW

Poor sleep in Gulf War vets may be tied to brain changes

Updated: March 1, 2014 08:51 AM
© US Army © US Army

FRIDAY, Feb. 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There may be a link between poor sleep quality and reduced gray matter in the brains of Gulf War veterans, a new study suggests.

Using MRI scans and a sleep quality assessment, researchers found that sleep disturbances among 144 Gulf War vets were associated with less gray matter in the frontal lobe -- the part of the brain involved in working memory and higher-level thinking.

The findings were published Feb. 28 in the journal Sleep.

Although the study does not prove that one causes the other, the researchers suggested their findings could shed light on the association between poor sleep quality and problems with psychosocial, physical and occupational functioning.

"Previous imaging studies have suggested that sleep disturbances may be associated with structural brain changes in certain regions of the frontal lobe," study lead author Linda Chao said in a news release from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

"The surprising thing about this study is that it suggests poor sleep quality is associated with reduced gray matter volume throughout the entire frontal lobe, and also globally in the brain," added Chao, who is an associate adjunct professor in the departments of radiology and biomedical imaging and psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco.

Poor sleep quality was linked to less gray matter, even after other possible factors were considered, the investigators noted. These factors included depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, Gulf War illness, trauma and use of drugs to treat mental illness.

The study authors concluded more research is needed to determine if treating disrupted sleep can improve the structure and function of the brain's frontal lobes.

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute provides more information on the importance of sleep.

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

  • Paula's Health NotesLas Vegas Health NewsMore>>

  • Why some patients don't get Alzheimer's

    Why some patients don't get Alzheimer's

    Friday, August 29 2014 4:23 PM EDT2014-08-29 20:23:01 GMT
     new study may help scientists unlock a medical mystery. Researchers have found that rheumatoid arthritis patients seem to have protection from developing Alzheimer's disease. The scientific link between the two may help researchers develop a new treatment for Alzheimer's.More>>
     new study may help scientists unlock a medical mystery. Researchers have found that rheumatoid arthritis patients seem to have protection from developing Alzheimer's disease. The scientific link between the two may help researchers develop a new treatment for Alzheimer's.More>>
  • Brain surgery through the nose

    Brain surgery through the nose

    Friday, August 29 2014 3:00 PM EDT2014-08-29 19:00:17 GMT
    Removing a brain tumor can be tricky for surgeons and painful for patients. Now there's a new way to take out these lesions as surgeons are using the nose as a pathway to the brain.More>>
    Removing a brain tumor can be tricky for surgeons and painful for patients. Now there's a new way to take out these lesions as surgeons are using the nose as a pathway to the brain.More>>
  • New procedure to help Lipedema

    New procedure to help Lipedema

    Friday, August 22 2014 3:55 PM EDT2014-08-22 19:55:58 GMT
    Some women just can't lose weight and for the estimated 11 percent of women with a chronic disorder, diet and exercise won't help at all. Now, there is a new procedure doctors are now using that can help restore their appearance.More>>
    Some women just can't lose weight and for the estimated 11 percent of women with a chronic disorder, diet and exercise won't help at all. Now, there is a new procedure doctors are now using that can help restore their appearance.More>>
*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KLAS. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.