Alterations of neural network organization during REM sleep in women: implication for sex differences in vulnerability to mood disorders.
BACKGROUND: Sleep plays an important role in vulnerability to mood disorders. However, despite the existence of sex differences in vulnerability to mood disorders, no study has yet investigated the sex effect on sleep network organization and its potential involvement in vulnerability to mood disorders. The aim of our study was to empirically investigate the sex effect on network organization during REM and slow-wave sleep using the effective connectivity measured by Granger causality.
METHODS: Polysomnographic data from 44 healthy individuals (28 men and 16 women) recruited prospectively were analysed. To obtain the 19 × 19 connectivity matrix of all possible pairwise combinations of electrodes by Granger causality method from our EEG data, we used the Toolbox MVGC multivariate Granger causality. The computation of the network measures was realized by importing these connectivity matrices into EEGNET Toolbox.
RESULTS: In men and women, all small-world coefficients obtained are compatible with a small-world network organization during REM and slow-wave sleep. However, compared to men, women present greater small-world coefficients during REM sleep as well as for all EEG bands during this sleep stage, which indicates the presence of a small-world network organization less marked during REM sleep as well as for all EEG bands during this sleep stage in women. In addition, in women, these small-world coefficients during REM sleep as well as for all EEG bands during this sleep stage are positively correlated with the presence of subclinical symptoms of depression.
CONCLUSIONS: Thus, the highlighting of these sex differences in network organization during REM sleep indicates the presence of differences in the global and local processing of information during sleep between women and men. In addition, this small-world network organization less marked during REM sleep appears to be a marker of vulnerability to mood disorders specific to women, which opens up new perspectives in understanding sex differences in the occurrence of mood disorders.
PMID: 32334638 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]
Biol Sex Differ. 2020 Apr 25;11(1):22
Authors: Hein M, Lanquart JP, Loas G, Hubain P, Linkowski P