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BACKGROUND: Sleep fragmentation is a persistent problem throughout the course of Parkinson's disease (PD). However, the related neurophysiological patterns and the underlying mechanisms remained unclear. METHOD: We recorded subthalamic nucleus (STN) local field potentials (LFPs) using deep brain stimulation (DBS) with real-time wireless recording capacity from 13 patients with PD undergoing a one-night polysomnography recording, 1 month after DBS surgery before initial programming and when the patients were off-medication. The STN LFP features that characterised different sleep stages, correlated with arousal and sleep fragmentation index, and preceded stage transitions during N2 and REM sleep were analysed. RESULTS: Both beta and low gamma oscillations in non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep increased with the severity of sleep disturbance (arousal index (ArI)-betaNREM: r=0.9, p=0.0001, sleep fragmentation index (SFI)-betaNREM: r=0.6, p=0.0301; SFI-gammaNREM: r=0.6, p=0.0324). We next examined the low-to-high power ratio (LHPR), which was the power ratio of theta oscillations to beta and low gamma oscillations, and found it to be an indicator of sleep fragmentation (ArI-LHPRNREM: r=-0.8, p=0.0053; ArI-LHPRREM: r=-0.6, p=0.0373; SFI-LHPRNREM: r=-0.7, p=0.0204; SFI-LHPRREM: r=-0.6, p=0.0428). In addition, long beta bursts (>0.25 s) during NREM stage 2 were found preceding the completion of transition to stages with more cortical activities (towards Wake/N1/REM compared with towards N3 (p<0.01)) and negatively correlated with STN spindles, which were detected in STN LFPs with peak frequency distinguishable from long beta bursts (STN spindle: 11.5 Hz, STN long beta bursts: 23.8 Hz), in occupation during NREM sleep (β=-0.24, p<0.001). CONCLUSION: Features of STN LFPs help explain neurophysiological mechanisms underlying sleep fragmentations in PD, which can inform new intervention for sleep dysfunction. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT02937727.

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Journal article


J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry

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