Heightened delta power during slow-wave- sleep in patients with rett syndrome associated with poor sleep efficiency

Simon Ammanuel, Wesley C. Chan, Daniel A. Adler, Balaji M. Lakshamanan, Siddharth S. Gupta, Joshua B. Ewen, Michael V. Johnston, Carole L. Marcus, Sakkubai Naidu, Shilpa D. Kadam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sleep problems are commonly reported in Rett syndrome (RTT); however the electroencephalographic (EEG) biomarkers underlying sleep dysfunction are poorly understood. The aim of this study was to analyze the temporal evolution of quantitative EEG (qEEG) biomarkers in overnight EEGs recorded from girls (2-9 yrs. old) diagnosed with RTT using a non-traditional automated protocol. In this study, EEG spectral analysis identified high delta power cycles representing slow wave sleep (SWS) in 8-9h overnight sleep EEGs from the frontal, central and occipital leads (AP axis), comparing age-matched girls with and without RTT. Automated algorithms quantitated the area under the curve (AUC) within identified SWS cycles for each spectral frequency wave form. Both age-matched RTT and control EEGs showed similar increasing trends for recorded delta wave power in the EEG leads along the antero-posterior (AP). RTT EEGs had significantly fewer numbers of SWS sleep cycles; therefore, the overall time spent in SWS was also significantly lower in RTT. In contrast, the AUC for delta power within each SWS cycle was significantly heightened in RTT and remained heightened over consecutive cycles unlike control EEGs that showed an overnight decrement of delta power in consecutive cycles. Gamma wave power associated with these SWS cycles was similar to controls. However, the negative correlation of gamma power with age (r = -.59; p<0.01) detected in controls (2-5 yrs. vs. 6-9 yrs.) was lost in RTT. Poor %SWS (i.e., time spent in SWS overnight) in RTT was also driven by the younger age-group. Incidence of seizures in RTT was associated with significantly lower number of SWS cycles. Therefore, qEEG biomarkers of SWS in RTT evolved temporally and correlated significantly with clinical severity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0138113
JournalPloS one
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 7 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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