Background: Oxidativestressmay impact the relationship between sleep disturbance and mood. However, relationships between sleep and in vivo brain measurements of oxidative stress remain unclear. Here, we tested relationships between patient-reported sleep disturbance with peripheral and central concentrations of glutathione (GSH), the primary brain antioxidant.
Methods: Participants were 2 women and 7 men with and without mood disorders, ages 35-61 years. MR spectroscopy at 7 Tesla was used to measure brain GSH levels in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), ventromedial and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices (VMPFC; DLPFC). Peripheral GSH was assayed from a fasted morning blood draw. We tested the association between GSH and sleep measures [PROMIS Sleep Disturbance (PROMIS-SD) and Sleep-Related Impairment (PROMIS-SRI)] using Pearson correlations.
Results: We observed significant negative correlations between DLPFC GSH and sleep disturbance (r=-0.744, p=0.022) and sleep-related impairment (r=-0.753, p=0.019). We did not detect correlations between sleep-related endpoints and peripheral GSH and other central measures of GSH levels.
Conclusions: These preliminary results suggest that more sleep disturbance and related impairment may be associated with lower levels of cortical GSH and implicate a role for sleep disturbance to impact oxidative stress in a region associated with rapid eye movement sleep and modulation of affective states.