Surrey Sleep Research Centre (SSRC)

Surrey Sleep Centre (SSC) research

Sleep and Cognition

  • Sleep and the cognitive decline associated with sleep loss differ between individuals
  •  We discovered that
    • A primate-specific polymorphism in the circadian clock gene PERIOD3 predicts
      •  Sleep characteristics
      • Cognitive decline due to sleep loss
    • This provides a unique opportunity to
      • better understand the mechanisms
      • underlying individual differences
      • by which this clock gene influences sleep and cognition
    • Identify novel biomarkers
    • Develop novel countermeasures for cognitive decline associated with sleep loss and circadian misalignment

Approach

Data Collection: Human

  • Genotype ~ 1,500 people for the PER3 polymorphism
  • Stratify study population (n=72) according to PER3 genotype
  • Perturb sleep and circadian rhythmicity
    • Forced desynchrony protocol
    • Sleep restriction/extension followed by ‘extended nightshift’
  • Assess cognition and sleep physiology
  • Obtain samples for the analysis of
    • Endocrine markers of circadian rhythmicity
    • Cell culture studies of circadian rhythms in vitro
    • PERIOD3 protein rhythms
    • Genome wide gene expression profiling by microarray

Data Analysis

  • Merge data:
  • Sleep physiology
    • Circadian physiology
    • Cognition
    • Gene expression profiling
  • Bioinformatics and modelling approaches
  • Identify metabolic and signalling pathways related to
    • PER3 genotype related differences
    • Other individual differences