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The role of hyperarousal after mild traumatic brain injury

1 July 2015


Although most individuals recover quickly after mTBI, some individuals experience a myriad of persisting symptoms. Hyperarousal is an anxiety-related symptom most frequently occurring as a result of posttraumatic stress. However, hyperarousal has not been studied as a symptom of mild traumatic brain injury. The present study, therefore, compared mean scores of hyperarousal measures, measures of posttraumatic stress, and head injury status, after controlling for depression symptoms. The hypothesis was that hyperarousal would be present in individuals who had experienced mTBI as well as individuals diagnosed with PTSD. More specifically, those with PTSD would demonstrate higher mean scores on measures of hyperarousal than those with or without mTBI. Significant results were not found to support the hypothesis, which may be attributable to limitations in the study such as small sample size. Implications of this study in the context of the literature on post-concussive symptomatology as well as future directions are discussed.


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