Idiopathic REM sleep Behavior Disorder (iRBD), a condition characterized by abnormal behaviors during sleep associated with dream enactment, is considered a prodromal state of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Both disorders share a common pathophysiology consisting of abnormal protein deposition from the gastrointestinal tract to the brain via ascending pathways. Whereas motor aspects have been extensively studied in iRBD/PD, a comprehensive view of the effects of the pathology on sleep-wake microarchitecture is still lacking. This Sleep_PD-RBD project focuses on the sleep disturbances associated with iRBD/PD and what they may reveal about the neurodegenerative process. Besides characterizing alterations in vigilance state regulation and sleep oscillations, I will correlate these EEG observations to gastrointestinal symptoms and daytime sleepiness, which both greatly impair patients’ quality of life. The original aspect of this project consist of studying sleep alterations with the recent concept of sleep and wake as non-mutually exclusive states, emphasizing sleep-wake dynamics as opposed to sleep scoring with conventional polysomnography variables, and with innovative EEG analyses investigating the properties of specific sleep oscillations and their cross-coupling. The project also links the brain to the guts, a current hot research topic. This multi-disciplinary project will rely on retrospective databases of patients obtained in Lyon and collaborative centers across France, as well as ongoing recruitment of patients and controls. For this project, I will benefit from the strong expertise of the Lyon Neuroscience Research Center in neuroscience research and of the Center for Sleep Medicine and Respiratory Diseases of Lyon University Hospital for clinical research aspects. With this fellowship, I aim to reintegrate the French academic network in an ideal research setting to learn technical and team-leadership skills and grow into a qualified independent researcher.
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