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Sleep Quality Of Soldiers With Migraine Is Poor

June 24, 2010

Some 19 percent of soldiers returning from Iraq have migraine and migraine is suspected in another 17 percent. While prevalence of migraine among the U.S. military is well documented , little is known about sleep quality in soldiers with chronic headaches including post-traumatic headache and migraine.

A research team from the Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, WA presenting at American Headache Society’s 52nd Annual Scientific Meeting in Los Angeles this week found that although sleep quality is poor in soldiers with post-traumatic headache, treatment including education can improve the condition.

“The research sought to determine if treatment for headache and insomnia could improve sleep quality among our patients with post-traumatic headaches,” said Cong Zhi Zhao, MD, lead author of the study. “We found that three months after initial treatment, those with post-traumatic headache reported significantly improved sleep quality and sleep onset than baseline, although their nightmares and interrupted sleep were not significantly changed.”

“Post-traumatic headache and migraine is an important cause of disability in our soldiers that affects their field performance and their lives after returning from the battlefield,” said David Dodick, M.D., president of the AHS. “Sleep quality is an important factor which is both a result of and a contributing factor to the disability imposed by these disorders, so this work is an important step in understanding the influence of effective headache treatment on sleep quality”

More than 200 scientific papers and posters are being presented during the AHS meeting which is expected to draw some 500 migraine and headache health professionals including doctors, researchers, and specialists.

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