Sleep and Impulse Control Issues Related to Spindling Excessive Beta

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by Jason von Stietz - June 12, 2015

Photo Credit: Getty Images


Can EEG phenotypes predict issues with sleep and with impulse control? Brain Science International’s Jay Gunkelman QEEG-D recently co-authored an article on the relationship between the EEG-beta phenotype and behavior. The findings suggested that frontal spindling beta related to sleep maintenance issues and impulse control problems. The article was published in the peer reviewed journal Neuropsychiatric Electrophysiology:






In 2009 the United States National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) introduced the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) project, which intends to explicate fundamental bio-behavioral dimensions that cut across heterogeneous disorder categories in psychiatry. One major research domain is defined by arousal and regulatory systems.




In this study we aimed to investigate the relation between arousal systems (EEG-beta phenotypes also referred to as spindling excessive beta (SEB), beta spindles or sub-vigil beta) and the behavioral dimensions: insomnia, impulsivity/hyperactivity and attention. This analysis is conducted within a large and heterogeneous outpatient psychiatric population, in order to verify if EEG-beta phenotypes are an objective neurophysiological marker for psychopathological properties shared across psychiatric disorders.




SEBs had an occurrence between 0–10.8% with a maximum occurrence at frontal and central locations, with similar topography for the heterogeneous sample as well as a more homogenous ADHD subgroup. Patients with frontal SEBs only, had significantly higher impulsivity/hyperactivity (specifically on impulse control items) and insomnia complaints with medium effect sizes.




Item level and mediation analysis revealed that sleep maintenance problems explained both frontal SEB EEG patterns (in line with SEB as a sub-vigil or hypoarousal EEG pattern) as well as the impulse control problems. These data thus suggest that frontal SEB might be regarded as a state marker caused by sleep maintenance problems, with concurrent impulse control problems. However, future longitudinal studies should investigate this state-trait issue further and replicate these findings Also studies manipulating SEB by for example neurofeedback and measuring consequent changes in sleep and impulse control could shed further light on this issue.



Read the article online Here



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