Non-REM Sleep Characteristics Predict Early Cognitive Impairment in an Aging Population.

Jacques Taillard, Patricia Sagaspe, Christian Berthomier, Marie Brandewinder, Hélène Amieva, Jean-François Dartigues, Muriel Rainfray, Sandrine Harston, Jean-Arthur Micoulaud-Franchi, Pierre Philip
Front. Neurol.. 2019-03-13; 10:
DOI: 10.3389/fneur.2019.00197

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Objective: Recent research suggests that sleep disorders or changes in sleep stages or EEG waveform precede over time the onset of the clinical signs of pathological cognitive impairment (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease). The aim of this study was to identify biomarkers based on EEG power values and spindle characteristics during sleep that occur in the early stages of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in older adults.

Methods: This study was a case-control cross-sectional study with 1-year follow-up of cases. Patients with isolated subjective cognitive complaints (SCC) or MCI were recruited in the Bordeaux Memory Clinic (MEMENTO cohort). Cognitively normal controls were recruited. All participants were recorded with two successive polysomnography 1 year apart. Delta, theta, and sigma absolute spectral power and spindle characteristics (frequency, density, and amplitude) were analyzed from purified EEG during NREM and REM sleep periods during the entire second night.

Results: Twenty-nine patients (8 males, age = 71 ± 7 years) and 29 controls were recruited at T0. Logistic regression analyses demonstrated that age-related cognitive impairment were associated with a reduced delta power (odds ratio (OR) 0.072, P < 0.05), theta power (OR 0.018, P < 0.01), sigma power (OR 0.033, P < 0.05), and spindle maximal amplitude (OR 0.002, P < 0.05) during NREM sleep. Variables were adjusted on age, gender, body mass index, educational level, and medication use. Seventeen patients were evaluated at 1-year follow-up. Correlations showed that changes in self-reported sleep complaints, sleep consolidation, and spindle characteristics (spectral power, maximal amplitude, duration, and frequency) were associated with cognitive impairment (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: A reduction in slow-wave, theta and sigma activities, and a modification in spindle characteristics during NREM sleep are associated very early with a greater risk of the occurrence of cognitive impairment. Poor sleep consolidation, lower amplitude, and faster frequency of spindles may be early sleep biomarkers of worsening cognitive decline in older adults.

Auteurs Bordeaux Neurocampus