OBJECTIVE: Studying the thalamic role in the cortical expression of the Sleep Slow Oscillation (SSO) in humans by comparing SSO features in a case of Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI) and a group of controls. METHODS: We characterize SSOs in a 51-year-old male with FFI carrying the D178N mutation and the methionine/methionine homozygosity at the polymorphic 129 codon of the PRNP gene and in eight gender and age-matched healthy controls. Polysomnographic (21 EEG electrodes, two consecutive nights) and volumetric- (Diffusion tensor imaging Magnetic Resonance Imaging DTI MRI) evaluations were carried out for the patient in the middle course of the disease (five months after the onset of insomnia; disease duration: 10months). We measured a set of features describing each SSO event: the wave shape, the event-origin location, the number and the location of all waves belonging to the event, and the grouping of spindle activity as a function of the SSO phase. RESULTS: We found that the FFI individual showed a marked reduction of SSO event rate and wave morphological alterations as well as a significant reduction in grouping spindle activity, especially in frontal areas. These alterations paralleled DTI changes in the thalamus and the cingulate cortex. CONCLUSIONS: This work gives a quantitative picture of spontaneous SSO activity during the NREM sleep of a FFI individual. The results suggest that a thalamic neurodegeneration specifically alters the cortical expression of the SSO. This characterization also provides indications about cortico-thalamic interplays in SSO activity in humans.

Thalamic contribution to Sleep Slow Oscillation features in humans: A single case cross sectional EEG study in Fatal Familial Insomnia

GEMIGNANI, ANGELO;LAURINO, MARCO;D'ASCANIO, PAOLA;Menicucci D.;
2012

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Studying the thalamic role in the cortical expression of the Sleep Slow Oscillation (SSO) in humans by comparing SSO features in a case of Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI) and a group of controls. METHODS: We characterize SSOs in a 51-year-old male with FFI carrying the D178N mutation and the methionine/methionine homozygosity at the polymorphic 129 codon of the PRNP gene and in eight gender and age-matched healthy controls. Polysomnographic (21 EEG electrodes, two consecutive nights) and volumetric- (Diffusion tensor imaging Magnetic Resonance Imaging DTI MRI) evaluations were carried out for the patient in the middle course of the disease (five months after the onset of insomnia; disease duration: 10months). We measured a set of features describing each SSO event: the wave shape, the event-origin location, the number and the location of all waves belonging to the event, and the grouping of spindle activity as a function of the SSO phase. RESULTS: We found that the FFI individual showed a marked reduction of SSO event rate and wave morphological alterations as well as a significant reduction in grouping spindle activity, especially in frontal areas. These alterations paralleled DTI changes in the thalamus and the cingulate cortex. CONCLUSIONS: This work gives a quantitative picture of spontaneous SSO activity during the NREM sleep of a FFI individual. The results suggest that a thalamic neurodegeneration specifically alters the cortical expression of the SSO. This characterization also provides indications about cortico-thalamic interplays in SSO activity in humans.
Gemignani, Angelo; Laurino, Marco; Provini, F.; Piarulli, A.; Barletta, G.; D'Ascanio, Paola; Bedini, R.; Lodi, R.; Manners, D. N.; Allegrini, P.; Menicucci, D.; Cortelli, P.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/191939
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