Sleep spindles are highly resilient to extensive white matter deterioration caused by traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Why this matters
Sleep spindles are oscillatory waves occurring during non-rapid eye movement (REM) sleep that are involved in sleep consolidation, learning and memory. Several studies show that sleep spindles interact with and rely on thalamocortical white matter tracts.
Individuals who have suffered a TBI often have extensive white matter damage and/or cognitive and functional changes, and could serve as a model of white matter damage to further investigate sleep spindle characteristics.