Sleep abnormalities in individuals at clinical high risk for psychosis


Youth at clinical high risk (CHR) represent a unique population enriched for precursors of major psychiatric disorders. Sleep disturbances are consistently reported in CHR individuals. However, there is a dearth of studies investigating quantifiable objective measures of sleep dysfunction in CHR youth. In this study, sleep high density (hd)-EEG recordings were collected in twenty-two CHR and twenty healthy control (HC) subjects. Sleep architecture parameters, as well as sleep EEG power spectra in five frequency bands, were computed and compared between CHR and HC groups during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. Furthermore, correlation analyses between sleep EEG power spectra, sleep architecture parameters, and clinical symptoms, assessed with the scale of prodromal symptoms (SOPS), were conducted in CHR participants. Our results show that CHR individuals had more wakefulness after sleep onset (WASO) compared to HC participants. CHR also showed a higher NREM sleep gamma EEG power, which was observed in a large fronto-parieto-occipital area, relative to HC. Additionally, higher NREM gamma activity in lateral fronto-occipital regions was associated with more WASO, and increased NREM gamma power in medial fronto/parietal areas correlated with worse SOPS negative symptoms. Altogether, these findings suggest that topographically specific increases in EEG gamma activity during NREM sleep represent neurophysiological signatures underlying some of the objectively assessed sleep disturbances and clinical symptoms of CHR individuals.

Journal of Psychiatric Research