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Brain Sci. 2017, 7(5), 51; doi:10.3390/brainsci7050051

In Search of Sleep Biomarkers of Alzheimer’s Disease: K-Complexes Do Not Discriminate between Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment and Healthy Controls

1
Department of Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome 00185, Italy
2
Department of Biotechnological and Applied Clinical Science, University of L’Aquila, L’Aquila 67100, Italy
3
Institute of Neurology, Catholic University of The Sacred Heart, Rome 00168, Italy
4
Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico, San Raffaele Pisana, Rome 00163, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 February 2017 / Revised: 18 April 2017 / Accepted: 27 April 2017 / Published: 29 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk Factors for Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI))
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Abstract

The K-complex (KC) is one of the hallmarks of Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) sleep. Recent observations point to a drastic decrease of spontaneous KCs in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, no study has investigated when, in the development of AD, this phenomenon starts. The assessment of KC density in mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a clinical condition considered a possible transitional stage between normal cognitive function and probable AD, is still lacking. The aim of the present study was to compare KC density in AD/MCI patients and healthy controls (HCs), also assessing the relationship between KC density and cognitive decline. Twenty amnesic MCI patients underwent a polysomnographic recording of a nocturnal sleep. Their data were compared to those of previously recorded 20 HCs and 20 AD patients. KCs during stage 2 NREM sleep were visually identified and KC densities of the three groups were compared. AD patients showed a significant KC density decrease compared with MCI patients and HCs, while no differences were observed between MCI patients and HCs. KC density was positively correlated with Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores. Our results point to the existence of an alteration of KC density only in a full-blown phase of AD, which was not observable in the early stage of the pathology (MCI), but linked with cognitive deterioration. View Full-Text
Keywords: amnesic mild cognitive impairment; Alzheimer’s disease; sleep; K-complexes; EEG; cognitive decline amnesic mild cognitive impairment; Alzheimer’s disease; sleep; K-complexes; EEG; cognitive decline
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MDPI and ACS Style

Reda, F.; Gorgoni, M.; Lauri, G.; Truglia, I.; Cordone, S.; Scarpelli, S.; Mangiaruga, A.; D'Atri, A.; Ferrara, M.; Lacidogna, G.; Marra, C.; Rossini, P.M.; De Gennaro, L. In Search of Sleep Biomarkers of Alzheimer’s Disease: K-Complexes Do Not Discriminate between Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment and Healthy Controls. Brain Sci. 2017, 7, 51.

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