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Hochschulmedizin Zürich SleepLoop


A local reduction of slow waves in pediatric patients suffering from epilepsy to counteract hyper-synchronization
Reto Huber (UZH, Kinderspital), Georgia Ramantani (UZH, Kinderspital), Oskar Jenni (UZH, Kinderspital), Christian Baumann (USZ, UZH)

In a proof-of-concept study, we will use closed-loop acoustic stimulation in patients suffering from epileptic encephalopathies showing continous spike waves during slow wave sleep. We will test whether local deprivation of slow waves by targeted acoustic closed-loop stimulation can reduce synchronization in patients with focal epilepsies and result in an improvement in clinical readouts. This non-pharmacological, non-invasive therapeutic approach may represent a promising treatment alternative particularly suited for pediatric patients.

Local sleep deprivation to treat patients with depression
Reto Huber (UZH, Kindespital), Erich Seifritz (UZH, PUK), Annette Brühl (UZH, PUK)

Depression is among the top leading causes for disability and socioeconomic costs worldwide. Antidepressant medications require about two weeks of continous administration to elicit therapeutic effects. Nocturnal sleep deprivation (SD) reduces depressive symptoms within a few hours. However, this effect is not long lasting and maintaining the beneficial antidepressant effects is too demanding for an application in clinical settings. We will investigate whether local SD by closed-loop stimulation exerts antidepressant effects in depressive patients. Furthermore, we will test whether local SD can be repeated over an extended period as an add-on treatment, without affecting the general structure of sleep and eliciting serious side effects.

The influence of slow wave sleep motor fatigability and movement vigour
Nicole Wenderoth (ETH)

Enhanced motor fatigability is a prevalent symptom of many brain disorders and emerges due to the break-down of inhibition mechanisms which causes higher co-contraction of antagonistic muscle groups. When probed via repetitive motor tasks (like finger tapping), this form of central fatigability manifests as slower and more variable movement execution. Suppressing deep sleep in primary motor cortex using closed-loop stimulation is known to increase variability in motor sequence tapping. We will investigate how far deep sleep modulates mechanisms underpinning central motor fatigability, by using wearable device and smartphone app.