It is very common for people who have sustained a mild traumatic brain
injury (mTBI) to also experience headaches and depression. Because the
symptoms of mTBI, headache, and depression often overlap (i.e., neck pain,
photosensitivity, and dizziness), it can be difficult for a doctor to
tease out the effects unique to the headache so that treatment can be targeted.
In a recent study, US veterans who sustained an mTBI and also experienced
headache, and/or depression were examined during their first year of care
to determine the relationship between the three. The research team found
that mTBI was most associated with an acute onset of headache, but the
combination of both PTSD and mTBI predicted the onset of headaches in
general. Additionally, tinnitus, insomnia, and vertigo/dizziness were
the most significant predictors of persistent headache. Finally, regardless
of an mTBI diagnosis or not, insomnia was closely related to the onset
The results of this study may help target treatments towards reducing headache,
such as managing tinnitus symptoms, addressing dizziness with vestibular
rehabilitation, and treating insomnia.