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Acoustic Stimulation as A Promising Technique to Enhance Slow-Wave Sleep in Alzheimer’s Disease: Results of a Pilot Study

Tijdschriftbijdrage - e-publicatie

STUDY OBJECTIVES: Sleep disturbances are common in people with Alzheimer's disease (AD), and a reduction in slow-wave activity is the most striking underlying change. Acoustic stimulation has emerged as a promising approach to enhance slow-wave activity in healthy adults and people with amnestic mild cognitive impairment. In this phase 1 study we investigated, for the first time, the feasibility of acoustic stimulation in AD and piloted the effect on slow-wave sleep (SWS). METHODS: Eleven adults with mild to moderate AD first wore the DREEM 2 headband for 2 nights to establish a baseline registration. Using machine learning, the DREEM 2 headband automatically scores sleep stages in real time. Subsequently, the participants wore the headband for 14 consecutive "stimulation nights" at home. During these nights, the device applied phase-locked acoustic stimulation of 40-dB pink noise delivered over 2 bone-conductance transducers targeted to the up-phase of the delta wave or SHAM, if it detected SWS in sufficiently high-quality data. RESULTS: Results of the DREEM 2 headband algorithm show a significant average increase in SWS (minutes) [t(3.17) = 33.57, P = .019] between the beginning and end of the intervention, almost twice as much time was spent in SWS. Consensus scoring of electroencephalography data confirmed this trend of more time spent in SWS [t(2.4) = 26.07, P = .053]. CONCLUSIONS: Our phase 1 study provided the first evidence that targeted acoustic stimuli is feasible and could increase SWS in AD significantly. Future studies should further test and optimize the effect of stimulation on SWS in AD in a large randomized controlled trial. CITATION: Van den Bulcke L, Peeters A-M, Heremans E, et al. Acoustic stimulation as a promising technique to enhance slow-wave sleep in Alzheimer's disease: results of a pilot study. J Clin Sleep Med. 2023;19(12):2107-2112.
Tijdschrift: Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
ISSN: 1550-9389
Issue: 12
Volume: 19
Jaar van publicatie:2023