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Sleep in Neurodegeneration

On 2-3 December, Mission Lucidity and the UK Dementia Research Institute organized a workshop on ‘Sleep Disturbance in Neurodegenerative Diseases’ in Leuven, Belgium. The 34 participants, about half from the UK and half from Leuven, were all experts involved in sleep and neurodegeneration research.

Dysfunctional sleep is very common in neurodegenerative diseases. On the one hand, abnormal sleep patterns may represent a symptom of the underlying pathological processes and could be useful as a novel biomarker. On the other hand, they could also contribute to disease progression and require special attention in people at risk. Sleep problems affect cognition, behaviour and caregiving, and are cited as a main reason to institutionalize the elderly. Indeed, poor sleep is a risk factor for dementia.

During the workshop, participants highlighted their recent results in the fields of mechanisms underlying sleep dysfunction, sleep phenotyping in patients with neurodegenerative diseases, and the latest technological developments for sleep monitoring or modulation.

The goals were to connect sleep & neurodegeneration researchers across multiple disciplines and countries, to formulate new research questions and propose innovative approaches to tackle them. Ultimately, we aimed to stimulate joint research projects and grant applications.

Sleep workshop