Sleep efficiency and electroencephalographic patterns in midlife are associated with cognitive change over the adult life course

Markus Waser, M. J. Lauritzen, B. Fagerlund, M. Osler, E. L. Mortensen, Helge Bjarup Dissing Sørensen, P. Jennum

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Objectives/Introduction:Disrupted sleep is a contributing factor to cognitive aging, while also being associated with major neurode-generative disorders. Little is known, however, about the relation of sleep and the gradual positive or negative cognitive changes over the adult life course. Patterns in the sleep electroencephalogram(EEG) are potential markers of the cognitive progress.Methods:To test this hypothesis, we assessed the sleep architecture and sleep EEG of 167 men born in the Copenhagen Metropolitan Area in 1953, who–based on individual cognitive testing from early(~18 years) to late adulthood (~58 years)–were divided in 85 subjects with negative and 82 with positive cognitive change over their adultage span. As part of a Center for Healthy Aging (University of Copenhagen) study, participants underwent standard polysomnography including manual sleep scoring between 2009 and 2013. Features ofsleep stage distribution were combined with a number of EEG features to distinguish between the two groups: EEG rhythmicity was assessed by spectral power analysis in frontal, central and occipital scalp sites.Functional connectivity was measured by inter‐hemispheric EEG coherence. Group‐differences were assessed by analysis of covariance (p<0.05) including completed level of formal education as covariate.Significant features were combined in a machine learning approach toestimate their discriminative usability.Results:Subjects with cognitive decline exhibited lower sleep efficiency, reduced inter‐hemispheric functional connectivity duringrapid eye movement (REM) sleep, and slower EEG rhythms during stage 2 non‐REM sleep. While none of these measures passed as stand‐alone features, the combined effects discriminated the two groups with an accuracy of 72% (sensitivity 75%, specificity 67%).Conclusions:In conclusion, the study demonstrates the potential of combined sleep and electrophysiological measures as signs of cognitive changes. Ongoing medical screenings of the cohort are required to identify subjects progressing from cognitive decline to severe neurological disorders. These future investigations will needto confirm the demonstrated potential of sleep disruptions as strong indicators of a possible later development of a neurodegenerative disorder.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberO194
JournalJournal of Sleep Research
Issue numberSuppl. 1, Sp. Iss. SI
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event24th Congress of the European Sleep Research Society - Basel, Switzerland
Duration: 25 Sep 201828 Sep 2018


Conference24th Congress of the European Sleep Research Society


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