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Divergent Associations of Slow-Wave Sleep versus Rapid Eye Movement Sleep with Plasma Amyloid-Beta

Publication year 2024
Published in Annals of Neurology
Authors Yevgenia Rosenblum, Mariana Pereira, Oliver Stange, Frederik D Weber, Leonore Bovy, Sofia Tzioridou, Elisa Lancini, David A Neville, Nadja Klein, Timo de Wolff, Mandy Stritzke, Iris Kersten, Manfred Uhr, Jurgen A H R Claassen, Axel Steiger, Marcel M Verbeek, Martin Dresler

OBJECTIVE: Recent evidence shows that during slow-wave sleep (SWS), the brain is cleared from potentially toxic metabolites, such as the amyloid-beta protein. Poor sleep or elevated cortisol levels can worsen amyloid-beta clearance, potentially leading to the formation of amyloid plaques, a neuropathological hallmark of Alzheimer disease. Here, we explored how nocturnal neural and endocrine activity affects amyloid-beta fluctuations in the peripheral blood.

METHODS: We acquired simultaneous polysomnography and all-night blood sampling in 60 healthy volunteers aged 20-68 years. Nocturnal plasma concentrations of amyloid-beta-40, amyloid-beta-42, cortisol, and growth hormone were assessed every 20 minutes. Amyloid-beta fluctuations were modeled with sleep stages, (non)oscillatory power, and hormones as predictors while controlling for age and participant-specific random effects.

RESULTS: Amyloid-beta-40 and amyloid-beta-42 levels correlated positively with growth hormone concentrations, SWS proportion, and slow-wave (0.3-4Hz) oscillatory and high-band (30-48Hz) nonoscillatory power, but negatively with cortisol concentrations and rapid eye movement sleep (REM) proportion measured 40-100 minutes previously (all t values > |3|, p values < 0.003). Older participants showed higher amyloid-beta-40 levels.

INTERPRETATION: Slow-wave oscillations are associated with higher plasma amyloid-beta levels, whereas REM sleep is related to decreased amyloid-beta plasma levels, possibly representing changes in central amyloid-beta production or clearance. Strong associations between cortisol, growth hormone, and amyloid-beta presumably reflect the sleep-regulating role of the corresponding releasing hormones. A positive association between age and amyloid-beta-40 may indicate that peripheral clearance becomes less efficient with age. ANN NEUROL 2024.

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