sleeping older woman
Project Type - Pilot Projects

Circadian Rhythm and Sleep Disturbances in FTD and Older Adults

Investigating sleep/wake and rest activity patterns in frontotemporal dementia
Northern America


Characterization of sleep disturbances and sleep/wake patterns in patients with behavioral frontotemporal dementia compared to healthy older adults.

Introduction: Sleep is often disrupted in neurodegeneration. These disruptions have been documented in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and in Parkinson’s disease dementia, but little is known in frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Understanding sleep/wake physiology can help direct approaches for treating sleep disruption in these and other neurodegenerative disorders. 

Project Details

To investigate sleep/wake differences and to identify differences in rest activity patterns in FTD compared to healthy controls.

Methods: Forty behavioral FTD patients and 40 controls will be recruited. To assess the sleep/wake patterns, subjects will wear an ambulatory EEG for 10 nights at home, while completing a sleep journal and questionnaires. During the same period, participants will wear an actigraph for ten 24hr periods to assess rest-activity rhythms. Our study will be the first to describe simultaneously sleep and rest/activity rhythms in FTD compared to healthy older adult controls. Using a deep characterization of the sleep/wake disturbances found in FTD will help inform health teams and advocates. The impact that FTD patients’ nocturnal disturbances have on their caregivers’ quality of life may result in burnout, earlier institutionalization. An overnight sleep study is expensive. Our goal is to assess sleep and rest-activity patterns using low cost devices. Findings from our study could be utilized for sleep assessments in low income countries, providing global equity of healthcare