Disrupted Sleep Cycles and Alzheimer's Disease Risk

Principal Investigator

Project Goals

The aim of this project is to evaluate disrupted sleep as an Alzheimer's disease risk factor.

Project Summary

Studies in animals have highlighted sleep disruption as a factor in the development of Alzheimer's disease. Sleep–wake cycles are associated with proper signaling between nerve cells using a region called synapses. In this first-of-its kind series of experiments, Jingyuan Chen, PhD, and her colleagues will use cutting-edge imaging to track metabolic markers of sleep–wake disruption at synapses.

The study will include people with and without known risk for Alzheimer's disease. They will be imaged in real time so that Dr. Chen and her colleagues can follow how metabolism changes in the synapses during sleep–wake cycles. The researchers will assess these patterns in association with Alzheimer's disease risk. In addition, they will home in on how the use of glucose, the brain's molecular fuel, tracks with brain waves that have been previously associated with Alzheimer's disease. 

The results of this study will yield a trove of potential imaging patterns related to risk for the condition and uncover more of the picture of how Alzheimer's disease and sleep are linked.


First published on: August 31, 2023

Last modified on: April 15, 2024