Sleep EEG in young people with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome: a cross-sectional study of slow-waves, spindles and correlations with memory and neurodevelopmental symptoms

Nicholas Donnelly, Ullrich Bartsch, Hayley Moulding, Hugh M. Marston, Christopher B. Eaton, Jessica Hall, Jeremy Hall, Michael J Owen, Marianne B. M. van den Bree*, Matt W Jones*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Background Young people living with 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome (22q11.2DS) are at increased risk of schizophrenia, intellectual disability, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In common with these conditions, 22q11.2DS is also associated with sleep problems. We investigated whether abnormal sleep or sleep-dependent network activity in 22q11.2DS reflects convergent, early signatures of neural circuit disruption also evident in associated neurodevelopmental conditions.

Methods In a cross-sectional design, we recorded high-density sleep EEG in young people (6-20 years) with 22q11.2DS (n=28) and their unaffected siblings (n=17), quantifying associations between sleep architecture, EEG oscillations (spindles and slow waves) and psychiatric symptoms. We also measured performance on a memory task before and after sleep.

Results 22q11.2DS was associated with significant alterations in sleep architecture, including a greater proportion of N3 sleep and lower proportions of N1 and REM sleep than in siblings. During sleep, deletion carriers showed broadband increases in EEG power with increased slow-wave and spindle amplitudes, increased spindle frequency and density, and stronger coupling between spindles and slow-waves. Spindle and slow-wave amplitudes correlated positively with overnight memory in controls, but negatively in 22q11.2DS. Mediation analyses indicated that genotype effects on anxiety, ADHD and ASD were partially mediated by sleep EEG measures.

Conclusions This study provides a detailed description of sleep neurophysiology in 22q11.2DS, highlighting alterations in EEG signatures of sleep which have been previously linked to neurodevelopment, some of which were associated with psychiatric symptoms. Sleep EEG features may therefore reflect delayed or compromised neurodevelopmental processes in 22q11.2DS, which could inform our understanding of the neurobiology of this condition and be biomarkers for neuropsychiatric disorders.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere75482
JournaleLife
Volume11
Early online date30 Aug 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by a Lilly Innovation Fellowship Award (UB), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH 5UO1MH101724; MvdB), a Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF) award (MvdB), the Waterloo Foundation (918-1234; MvdB), the Baily Thomas Charitable Fund (2315/1; MvdB), MRC grant Intellectual Disability and Mental Health: Assessing Genomic Impact on Neurodevelopment (IMAGINE) (MR/L011166/1; JH, MvdB and MO), MRC grant Intellectual Disability and Mental Health: Assessing Genomic Impact on Neurodevelopment 2 (IMAGINE-2) (MR/T033045/1; MvdB, JH and MO); Wellcome Trust Strategic Award ‘Defining Endophenotypes From Integrated Neurosciences’ Wellcome Trust (100202/Z/12/Z MO, JH). NAD was supported by a National Institute for Health Research Academic Clinical Fellowship in Mental Health and MWJ by a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship in Basic Biomedical Science (202810/Z/16/Z). CE and HAM were supported by Medical Research Council Doctoral Training Grants (C.B.E. 1644194, H.A.M MR/K501347/1). HMM and UB were employed by Eli Lilly & Co during the study; HMM is currently an employee of Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co KG. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health funders.

Publisher Copyright:
© Donnelly, Bartsch et al.

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