Sleep Microarchitecture, Neuroimaging and Daytime Sleepiness in Obstructive Sleep Apnea and its Treatment

2018 Focused Projects Grant for Junior Investigators


Key Project Outcomes

Drowsy driving accounts for one in eight crashes leading to hospitalization or death and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients with excessive daytime sleepiness have a two to three-fold increased risk of drowsy driving (i.e., lapses in vigilance). However, there is a large inter-individual variability in the relationship between OSA severity and lapses in vigilance.

In order to further our understanding of the causes of inter-individual variability in lapses in vigilance and developing markers of this neurobehavioral impairment, we assessed night-time EEG markers (K-complex/slow-wave coupling) and daytime thalamic and prefrontal activity during a 10-min psychomotor vigilance test (PVT) in subjects with severe OSA who show a high degree of lapses in vigilance.

Pilot data at baseline, in newly diagnosed severe OSA subjects, suggests that thalamic activity is significantly lower during PVT as compared to a rest condition where there is no requirement of sustaining attention. Further, this reduction in thalamic activity was positively correlated, but not statistically significant, to low overnight EEG K-complex/slow-wave coupling (N = 6 subjects, r = 0.69, p = 0.08).

We are currently analyzing follow up data in these subjects obtained after 3 months of treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).

Meeting Abstracts


Relationship Between Sleep EEG K-Complex Slow Wave Coupling and Next-Day Thalamic Activity During Psychomotor Vigilance Test in Obstructive Sleep Apnea