Catalyst Awardee

Project Description

Monitoring of Alzheimer's Disease Pathology Through Slow Wave Activity During Sleep in Older Adults

Makoto Kawai, MDDivision of Sleep Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine
Stanford University
; Ada Poon, PhD |Department of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University
Competition Sponsor: US National Academy of Medicine
Awardee Year: 2022


It has been suggested that sleep can provide a more affordable, accessible, and less invasive method of monitoring the progression of AD pathology, even in the preclinical period. However, the current sleep assessment methods in the market, including PSG or commercial EEG headbands, are expensive, affect patients’ sleep because of discomfort, and lead to intolerance for extended recordings.
We propose developing a disposable, miniaturized, wireless, and long-term sleep EEG monitoring system. With the device, we aim to investigate the impact of frontal slow wave activity (SWA) during sleep on cognition and AD pathology in older adults. We will focus on frontal SWA because of its known association with aging and cognition. Our approach focuses on monitoring participants’ sleep at home with minimal disruption using a two-channel wireless stamp-sized micro EEG system. We will compare the quality of EEG signal with gold standard polysomnography (PSG).
In this project, we propose to investigate 1) the feasibility of our soft, small, flexible sticker-like EEG (SLEEG) to monitor SWA for one week in older adults, 2) the validity of the machine learning algorithm to detect SWA compared with PSG, and 2) the association of one-week averaged SWA with AD pathology, i.e., Serum Amyloid/Tau measurement and neuropsychiatric evaluation. Our project consists of three stages: 1) developing the sticker-like EEG sensor, 2) validating it with PSG, and 3) testing its clinical and AD pathology association in 10 older adults with and without mild cognitive impairment.

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