The Role of Sleep in Alzheimer's Disease Disparities

Principal Investigator

Project Goals

Examine the role of disturbed sleep and delineate pathological mechanisms associated with higher AD-risk in older blacks as a critical initial step needed to optimize patient care paradigms.

Project Summary

The proposal aims to examine whether Black participants with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) will exhibit higher tau and greater neurodegeneration, compared to whites for the same level of amyloidosis. The proposal also plans to investigate reduced non-rapid eye movement slow wave activity (NREM SWA) and increased inflammation as possible mediators of the association between OSA and tau-PET/AD signature region volume and examine whether SES/SDOH and vascular risk measures will explain any observed race-specific effects 

This study is innovative because: 1) It has the unique potential of identifying biomarker differences that may suggest race-related social/physiologic mechanisms for AD-expression. 2) It will investigate in blacks whether racial differences exist in the association of micro-level changes in sleep physiology, and in-vivo regional tau PET signal in the context of amyloid burden, especially with objective measurements of sleep and AD. 3) It has the unique potential to generate novel empirical evidence to support racial differences of the effect of SDOH, stress and inflammation on the relationship Black participants with OSA will exhibit higher tau and greater neurodegeneration, and have reduced NREM SWA and increased inflammation compared to whites for the same level of tauopathy, with SDOH and vascular risk measures mediating observed race-specific effects. Thus, this innovative study represents a novel approach to racial-dependent strategies for diagnosis and assessment of therapeutic interventions. It will foster design of studies that target SES measures, sleep quality, and control of vascular risk as novel therapeutic targets for AD prevention in blacks.


First published on: August 15, 2022

Last modified on: June 10, 2024