Focal Slow Wave Sleep in Brain Repair and Recovery After Stroke
2018 Physician Scientist Training Grant
ERIC LANDSNESS, MD, PHD
WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY IN ST. LOUIS
Key Project Outcomes
Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in the US with annual incidence of 800,000 and with over 5.8 million stroke survivors. We need new ways to help patients recover from their stroke. This study was designed to examine the role of a specific type of sleep (slow wave sleep) in post-stroke recovery. We found that in the area of the brain affected by stroke there is an initial decrease in slow wave sleep, but it then rebounds over the course of month. The next step is to see if this rebound in slow wave sleep is due the brain healing itself or sleep actively helping the brain recover. This research has the potential to clarify the basic mechanisms of how slow wave sleep regulates neuronal repair and recovery after stroke. Ultimately, this knowledge may identify novel therapies that could enhance recovery after stroke, which would greatly improve health for patients, reduce disability, and enrich quality of life.