Skip to navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer

Approved research

Early association between sleep and brain disorders

Principal Investigator: Dr Gilles Vandewalle
Approved Research ID: 40347
Approval date: March 25th 2019

Lay summary

Disturbed sleep is the most common comorbidity of age-related mental and brain disorders, including major depressive disorder (MDD), Parkinson's disease (PD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). A bidirectional detrimental influence between sleep and MDD/PD/AD is emerging in the literature. Sleep dysfunction is, however, not yet considered as a true risk factor for AD and the core sleep features that contribute to MDD, PD and AD are not established. By systematically investigating a young adults cohort (< 35y) with variable polygenic liabilities for MDD, PD and AD, we aim to reveal early electrophysiological sleep and brain neuroimaging signatures of brain disorders. We stress that this novel approach in youth will isolate core associations freed of most lifetime and pathology-related confounders. We then want to assess whether the sleep features identified in youth are also present in patients of the UK biobank. We further anticipate that predictions of sleep risk markers in the UK biobank will be worse in patients versus controls, reinforcing their essential role for brain disorder comorbidities Findings are expected to enlarge MDD, PD and AD preclinical windows and to provide novel implementable early biomarkers and prevention targets. UK biobank data will therefore be used to assess whether patients (MDD, PD or AD) have worse sleep features than controls for item of the UK biobank that can be related to the findings made in our local database of young and healthy individuals. UK biobank data genetic data will be used to make polygenic predictions of unassessed sleep and brain features identified in youth. The model will be stablished in the local database of young individuals and then applied to the UK biobank.