Publications by authors named "Gaétan Poirier"

6 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Spindles insufficiency in sleepwalkers' deep sleep.

Neurophysiol Clin 2020 Oct 4;50(5):339-343. Epub 2020 Sep 4.

Center for Advanced Research in Sleep Medicine, Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur, Montréal, Canada; Department of Neurosciences, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada.

Objectives: Sleepwalkers have consistently shown N3 sleep discontinuity, especially after sleep deprivation. In healthy subjects, sleep spindles activity has been positively correlated to sleep stability. We aimed to compare spindles density during N3 sleep between sleepwalkers and healthy controls.

Methods: Two cohorts of 10 and 21 adult sleepwalkers respectively controlled with 10 and 18 healthy volunteers underwent one baseline and one recovery sleep recording after 38h (cohort 1) and 25h (cohort 2) of sleep deprivation. For the two recordings, we performed an automatic detection of spindles (11-16Hz) from EEG signal during N3 sleep, restricted to the first sleep cycle and repeated for all cycles. For better interpretation of results, we extended the analysis to N2 sleep and we also measured the density of slow waves oscillation (SWO) (0.5-4Hz) during the same periods.

Results: Compared to controls, sleepwalkers showed significantly lower spindle densities during N3 sleep considering the first sleep cycle (both cohorts) or all cycles (cohort 1). SWO densities did not differ (cohort 1) or were lower (cohort 2) for sleepwalkers. The effect of sleep deprivation did not interact with the effect of group on spindles and SWO densities.

Conclusion: This work suggests that the instability of N3 sleep inherent to sleepwalkers may be underpinned by a specific alteration of spindles activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neucli.2020.08.003DOI Listing
October 2020

Shorter duration of non-rapid eye movement sleep slow waves in EphA4 knockout mice.

J Sleep Res 2017 10 10;26(5):539-546. Epub 2017 May 10.

Center for Advanced Research in Sleep Medicine and Research Center, Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal, Montreal, QC, Canada.

Slow waves occurring during non-rapid eye movement sleep have been associated with neurobehavioural performance and memory. In addition, the duration of previous wakefulness and sleep impacts characteristics of these slow waves. However, molecular mechanisms regulating the dynamics of slow-wave characteristics remain poorly understood. The EphA4 receptor regulates glutamatergic transmission and synaptic plasticity, which have both been linked to sleep slow waves. To investigate if EphA4 regulates slow-wave characteristics during non-rapid eye movement sleep, we compared individual parameters of slow waves between EphA4 knockout mice and wild-type littermates under baseline conditions and after a 6-h sleep deprivation. We observed that, compared with wild-type mice, knockout mice display a shorter duration of positive and negative phases of slow waves under baseline conditions and after sleep deprivation. However, the mutation did not change slow-wave density, amplitude and slope, and did not affect the sleep deprivation-dependent changes in slow-wave characteristics, suggesting that EphA4 is not involved in the response to elevated sleep pressure. Our present findings suggest a role for EphA4 in shaping cortical oscillations during sleep that is independent from sleep need.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jsr.12532DOI Listing
October 2017

Are NREM sleep characteristics associated to subjective sleep complaints after mild traumatic brain injury?

Sleep Med 2015 Apr 9;16(4):534-9. Epub 2015 Jan 9.

Center for Advanced Research in Sleep Medicine (CARSM), Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Department of Psychology, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Electronic address:

Introduction: Sleep complaints are common after mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). While recent findings suggest that sleep macro-architecture is preserved in mTBI, features of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep micro-architecture including electroencephalography (EEG) spectral power, slow waves (SW), and sleep spindles could be affected. This study aimed to compare NREM sleep in mTBI and healthy controls, and explore whether NREM sleep characteristics correlate with sleep complaints in these groups.

Methods: Thirty-four mTBI participants (mean age: 34.2 ± 11.9 yrs; post-injury delay: 10.5 ± 10.4 weeks) and 29 age-matched controls (mean age: 32.4 ± 8.2 yrs) were recruited for two consecutive nights of polysomnographic (PSG) recording. Spectral power was computed and SW and spindles were automatically detected in three derivations (F3, C3, O1) for the first three sleep cycles. Subjective sleep quality was assessed with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI).

Results: mTBI participants reported significant poorer sleep quality than controls on the PSQI and showed significant increases in beta power during NREM sleep at the occipital derivation only. Conversely, no group differences were found in SW and spindle characteristics. Interestingly, changes in NREM sleep characteristics were not associated with mTBI estimation of sleep quality.

Conclusions: Compared to controls, mTBI were found to have enhanced NREM beta power. However, these changes were not found to be associated with the subjective evaluation of sleep. While increases in beta bands during NREM sleep may be attributable to the occurrence of a brain injury, they could also be related to the presence of pain and anxiety as suggested in one prior study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sleep.2014.12.002DOI Listing
April 2015

Topography of age-related changes in sleep spindles.

Neurobiol Aging 2013 Feb 17;34(2):468-76. Epub 2012 Jul 17.

Department of Psychology, University of Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Aging induces multiple changes to sleep spindles, which may hinder their alleged functional role in memory and sleep protection mechanisms. Brain aging in specific cortical regions could affect the neural networks underlying spindle generation, yet the topography of these age-related changes is currently unknown. In the present study, we analyzed spindle characteristics in 114 healthy volunteers aged between 20 and 73 years over 5 anteroposterior electroencephalography scalp derivations. Spindle density, amplitude, and duration were higher in young subjects than in middle-aged and elderly subjects in all derivations, but the topography of age effects differed drastically. Age-related decline in density and amplitude was more prominent in anterior derivations, whereas duration showed a posterior prominence. Age groups did not differ in all-night spindle frequency for any derivation. These results show that age-related changes in sleep spindles follow distinct topographical patterns that are specific to each spindle characteristic. This topographical specificity may provide a useful biomarker to localize age-sensitive changes in underlying neural systems during normal and pathological aging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2012.05.020DOI Listing
February 2013

Sleep slow wave changes during the middle years of life.

Eur J Neurosci 2011 Feb 13;33(4):758-66. Epub 2011 Jan 13.

Centre d'étude du sommeil et des rythmes biologiques, Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal, 5400 Gouin Blvd. West, Montreal, QC, Canada.

Slow waves (SW; < 4 Hz and > 75 μV) during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep in humans are characterized by hyperpolarization [surface electroencephalogram (EEG) SW negative phase], during which cortical neurons are silent, and depolarization (surface EEG positive phase), during which the cortical neurons fire intensively. We assessed the effects of age, sex and topography on the dynamics of SW characteristics in a large population (n=87) of healthy young (23.3 ± 2.4 years) and middle-aged (51.9 ± 4.6 years) volunteers. Older subjects showed lower SW density and amplitude than young subjects. Age-related lower SW density in men was especially marked in prefrontal/frontal brain areas, where they originate more frequently. Older subjects also showed longer SW positive and negative phase durations. These last results indicate that, in young subjects, cortical neurons would synchronously enter the SW hyperpolarization and depolarization phases, whereas this process would take longer in older subjects, leading to lower slope and longer SW positive and negative phases. Importantly, after controlling for SW amplitude, middle-aged subjects still showed lower slope than young subjects in prefrontal, frontal, parietal and occipital derivations. Age-related effects on SW density, frequency and positive phase duration were more prominent at the beginning of the night, when homeostatic sleep pressure is at its highest. Age-related SW changes may be associated with changes in synaptic density and white matter integrity and may underlie greater sleep fragmentation and difficulty in recuperating and maintaining sleep under challenges in older subjects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1460-9568.2010.07543.xDOI Listing
February 2011

Effects of immobility on sensory and motor symptoms of restless legs syndrome.

Mov Disord 2002 Jan;17(1):112-5

Centre d'étude du sommeil et des rythmes biologiques, Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur, Montréal, Canada.

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is defined by an irresistible need to move associated with leg paresthesia. Two additional features are essential for diagnosis: (1) worsening of symptoms at rest with temporary relief by activity, and (2) worsening of symptoms during the evening and/or during the night. The suggested immobilization test (SIT) has been developed to evaluate the presence of these criteria. This test quantifies leg movements and leg discomfort during a 1-hour period of immobility prior to bedtime. We used the SIT to evaluate the effects of immobility on leg discomfort and leg movements experienced by 19 patients with RLS and 19 control subjects. Results show that immobility significantly worsens both leg discomfort and periodic leg movements (PLM) in patients with RLS but not in controls. Patients with RLS showed a higher leg discomfort score (32.6 +/- 15.1 mm vs. 5.7 +/- 7.9 mm; P < 0.00001), a greater maximum leg discomfort value (63.4 +/- 27.4 mm vs. 13.7 +/- 23.0 mm; P < 0.00001) and a greater PLM index (88.4 +/- 62.6 vs. 10.4 +/- 20.6; P < 0.00004) than control subjects. These results further validate the use of the SIT as a diagnostic and research tool for RLS and confirm the contention of the International RLS study group that RLS symptoms worsen at rest.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mds.10004DOI Listing
January 2002
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