Delta activity at sleep onset and cognitive performance in community-dwelling older adults

Kawai, Makoto, Beaudreau, Sherry A., Gould, Christine E., Hantke, Nathan C., Jordan, Josh T. and O'Hara, Ruth (2016) Delta activity at sleep onset and cognitive performance in community-dwelling older adults. Sleep, 39 4: 907-914. doi:10.5665/sleep.5652

Author Kawai, Makoto
Beaudreau, Sherry A.
Gould, Christine E.
Hantke, Nathan C.
Jordan, Josh T.
O'Hara, Ruth
Title Delta activity at sleep onset and cognitive performance in community-dwelling older adults
Journal name Sleep   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1550-9109
Publication date 2016-04-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.5665/sleep.5652
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 39
Issue 4
Start page 907
End page 914
Total pages 8
Place of publication Darien, IL, United States
Publisher Associated Professional Sleep Societies
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Study Objectives: Frontal intermittent rhythmic delta activity (FIRDA) has long been considered to be an abnormal variant in the electroencephalogram (EEG) among older adults. Prior work also indicates a predominance of slow wave EEG activity among patients with dementia. However, instability of state control occurring with aging generally and among many neurodegenerative diseases raises the possibility that FIRDA might represent the intrusion of sleep related elements of the EEG into the waking state. We examined delta activity at sleep onset (DASO) in community-dwelling, older adults without dementia, and examined whether this activity is related to poorer cognitive performance.

Methods: 153 community-dwelling, older adults without dementia underwent overnight polysomnography and measures of global cognition, delayed verbal memory, information processing speed, attention, inhibition, verbal naming, and visuospatial ability. Delta activity during sleep/wake transitions (scored either as Waking or N1) was analyzed visually.

Results: Participants were 83 women and 70 men, mean age 71.3 ± 0.6 y. DASO was present in 30 participants (19.6%). Age, years of education, sex, and body mass index did not differ between DASO (+) and (-) groups. Multiple regression analyses indicated faster reading of the Stroop color words in DASO (+) subjects (P = 0.007). None of the other cognitive domains differed between the two groups.

Conclusions: DASO was relatively common in our sample of community-dwelling, older adults without dementia. DASO was not associated with poorer performance on any cognitive domain. Instead, individuals with DASO demonstrated better performance on a simple reading task. Although these findings suggest that an abnormal EEG activity may represent normal variation, our work underscores the importance of distinguishing DASO from FIRDA when examining sleep in older adults.
Keyword Cognition
Delta activity at sleep onset
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Psychology Publications
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