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Ann Neurol. 2009 Oct;66(4):555-9. doi: 10.1002/ana.21836.

Loss of hypocretin (orexin) neurons with traumatic brain injury.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland. christian.baumann@usz.ch

Abstract

Chronic, daytime sleepiness is a major, disabling symptom for many patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI), but thus far, its etiology is not well understood. Extensive loss of the hypothalamic neurons that produce the wake-promoting neuropeptide hypocretin (orexin) causes the severe sleepiness of narcolepsy, and partial loss of these cells may contribute to the sleepiness of Parkinson disease and other disorders. We have found that the number of hypocretin neurons is significantly reduced in patients with severe TBI. This observation highlights the often overlooked hypothalamic injury in TBI and provides new insights into the causes of chronic sleepiness in patients with TBI.

PMID:
19847903
PMCID:
PMC2770195
DOI:
10.1002/ana.21836
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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