REM sleep fragmentation associated with depressive symptoms and genetic risk for depression in a community-based sample of adolescents
Gradisar, Michael Shane
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Introduction Fragmented REM sleep may impede overnight resolution of distress and increase depressive symptoms. Furthermore, both fragmented REM and depressive symptoms may share a common genetic factor. We explored the associations between REM sleep fragmentation, depressive symptoms, and a polygenic risk score (PRS) for depression among adolescents. Methods About 161 adolescents (mean age 16.9 ± 0.1 years) from a birth cohort underwent a sleep EEG and completed the Beck Depression Inventory-II the same day. We calculated PRSes for depressive symptoms with PRSice 1.25 software using weights from a recent genome-wide association study for dimensions of depressive symptoms (negative emotion, lack of positive emotion and somatic complaints). REM fragmentation in relation to entire REM duration was manually calculated from all REM epochs. REM latency and density were derived using SomnoMedics DOMINO software. Results PRSes for somatic complaints and lack of positive emotions were associated with higher REM fragmentation percent. A higher level of depressive symptoms was associated with increased percent of REM fragmentation and higher REM density, independently of the genetic risks. Belonging to the highest decile in depressive symptoms was associated with a 2.9- and 7.6-fold risk of belonging to the highest tertile in REM fragmentation and density. In addition, higher PRS for somatic complaints had an independent, additive effect on increased REM fragmentation. Limitation A single night's sleep EEG was measured, thus the night-to-night stability of the REM fragmentation-depressive symptom link is unclear. Conclusion Depressive symptoms and genetic risk score for somatic complaints are independently associated with more fragmented REM sleep. This offers new insights on the quality of sleep and its relation to adolescents’ mood.
This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. This author accepted manuscript is made available following 12 month embargo from date of publication (November 2018) in accordance with the publisher’s archiving policy.