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Jessica Busler, PhD




Research Fellow




Research Fellow




Jessica N. Busler*, Leilah K. Grant, Vicky Liao, Alexander P. Lin, Shadab A. Rahman, Pamela B. Mahon

Oxidative Stress and Sleep Disturbance and Impairment in Mood Disorder: A Pilot MR Spectroscopy Study

Participating in the Women in Medicine and Science Symposium (WMSS) is important to me because I aim to engage with and form a peer network with fellow women researchers and clinicians. The WMSS provides me an opportunity to support accomplishments of women faculty and trainees and strengthen connections with fellow women in the MGB community. My goal is to become an independent investigator in clinical neuroscience with a focus on neurobiological sex differences in obesity and related negative mental health outcomes. Currently, I am investigating novel relationships between neurochemicals with psychological and physiological measures of stress and obesity.

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.