Evidence suggests that fluctuations of cortisol and vital signs can emerge during the course of mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI). To investigate fluctuations of cortisol and vital signs during the acute phase of mTBI in hospitalised patients. 30 participants (19 patients with mTBI and 11 controls) were examined for saliva cortisol dynamics, heart rate (HR), systolic arterial pressure (SAP), diastolic arterial pressure (DAP), mean arterial pressure (MAP) and body temperature (BT) fluctuations for four consecutive days. Also, the participants completed the Athens Insomnia Scale and Epworth Sleepiness Scales, in order to check for sleep problems. Patients showed elevated levels of cortisol relative to controls (peak at 8 am and lowest levels at 12 am), as well as for most physiological parameters. MAP was significantly higher for patients throughout the measurement period, and BT was elevated for patients relative to controls at almost all measurements of the first and second day. Mean HR tended to track at non-significantly higher levels for the mTBI group. Patients’ sleepiness and insomnia values (ESS and AIS) were initially significantly higher relative to controls but the difference dissipated by day 4. The increase in absolute values of cortisol and vital signs measurements, indicates that in the acute phase of mTBI, a stressfulprocess is activated which may affect sleep quality as well.
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