Relationship of Sleep and Memory Disorders From TBI
Consequent to TBI some people suffer damage to an area of the brain called the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus or SCN. The SCN is about the size of a grain of rice and sits above the spot in the brain where the two sides of the optic nerve cross. It controls the 24 hour biological rhythym of sleep in humans and other mammals. Traumatic damage to the SCN disrupts normal sleep patterns and can also impair normal memory formation. This may be due to the fact that people need to sleep and dream a certain amount of time each night to form lasting memories. The function of the hippocampus (the brain organ of memory encoding) and the SCN are related. They share a certain number of genes in common. The matter is still under investigation.