Sleep and Sleep Disorders

Peter Achermann

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Prof. Dr. sc.nat. Peter Achermann
Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Zurich

acherman@pharma.uzh.ch
Research Focus: Our research interests are sleep, sleep regulation and circadian rhythms with a focus on mathematical modeling and biosignal analysis and effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields on brain activity. In collaboration with clinicians, we also investigate altered sleep regulation in patients. Our current focus is on resting state networks and sleep regulation, sleep onset and other state transitions, functional and effective connectivity between brain networks during sleep, automatic artifact detection, and continuous monitoring of brain state changes (e.g. detection of microsleep episodes)

Keywords: sleep and sleep regulation, circadian rhythms, mathematical modeling and biosignal analysis, imaging of sleep
Topics:
Sleep and Sleep Disorders, Computation and Modeling
Projects: project data bank UZH

Publications: researcherid.com  scholargoogle.ch

Website:  http://www.pharma.uzh.ch/research/chronobiology/areas/sleepbiology.html

 

   
Christian Baumann

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Prof. Dr. Christian Baumann
Department of Neurology, University Hospital Zurich
christian.baumann@usz.ch

 

Topic: Sleep and Sleep Disorders

Website: http://www.neurologie.usz.ch/forschung/seiten/epilepsie-und-schlaf.aspx

 

   
Steven Brown

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Prof. Dr. Steven Brown 
Chronobiology and Sleep Research Group, Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Zurich 
steven.brown@pharma.uzh.ch

Research Focus: Humans are diurnal animals.  Not only is one-third of our lives spent asleep, but nearly all aspects of physiology vary according to time of day, directed by biological “circadian” clocks in nearly all cells of the brain and body.  Our laboratory is interested in the molecular mechanisms that govern these clocks and their control of sleep, using a mixture of biochemistry, microscopy and electrophysiology in genetically modified mice and human cellular model systems.  For example, we have shown recently how particular families of ion channels control cortical oscillations during sleep, how RNAs are directed to synapses by clock-associated proteins, and that dynamic DNA methylation in the brain can reprogram daily transcriptional cycles.

Keywords: Sleep, circadian clock, transcription, inhibitory synapse, IPSC, RNA transport, metabolism

Topics: Sleep and Sleep Disorders, Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, Neural Basis of Behavior

Publications & Website: www.sbrownlab.com

 

   
Reto Huber

 

Prof. Dr. Reto Huber
University Children’s Hospital Zurich and University Clinics for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Zurich
reto.huber@kispi.uzh.ch

Research Focus: Sleep wake regulatory mechanisms seem to be casually related to cortical plasticity. More specifically, wakefulness favours synaptic strengthening or synapse formation. On the other hand, sleep, in particular deep sleep, promotes synaptic weakening or synapse elimination, ensuring synaptic homeostasis. Cortical plasticity plays a key role for brain maturation. A large body of evidence indicates that aberrations in the trajectory of cortical plasticity are linked to the development of psychiatric disorders. We investigate mechanism underlying the interplay between sleep and wakefulness and how such mechanisms may impact the remodelling of cortical circuits during development and therefore might be related to the susceptibility of psychopathology.

Keywords: sleep regulation, cortical maturation, synaptic plasticity, high-density EEG, MRI, closed-loop stimulation

Topics: Sleep and Sleep Disorders, Development

Projects: http://www.research-projects.uzh.ch/a529.htm

Publications: http://www.kispi.uzh.ch/fzk/de

Websites:  www.kispi.uzh.ch/sleep    http://www.kjpd.uzh.ch/multimod/sleep.html

 

   
kurth

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Dr. Salome Kurth, Junior Group Leader
CRPP Sleep and Health, University Hospital Zurich
salome.kurth@usz.ch

Research Focus: The composition of bacteria in the human gut is increasingly recognized as a health marker, which relates to brain plasticity and behavior. These gut microbiota evolve rapidly during the first years of life. Across early childhood the human brain also experiences major anatomical and functional development, which is closely reflected in the sleep electroencephalogram (EEG). Animal studies have shown that the plastic processes in the maturing brain are linked to sleep behavior in early life. To date, it is unclear whether infant sleep behavior is related to neurodevelopment or sleep behavior later in life, and associations between sleep the gut microbiota remain understudied.

Supported through the Clinical Research Priority Program (CRPP) “Sleep and Health” of the University of Zurich, we focus on the development of sleep behavior across the first months of life in humans. We examine possible interactions with brain activity during sleep as well as with physiological factors, including the gut microbiota. Our research employs population-based measures, high spatial resolution EEG during sleep and behavioral testing.

By investigating the interplay of sleep behavior and gut microbiota during infant development we hope to improve our understanding of the factors linked to neurodevelopment and to identify predictors of brain connectivity and functional outcome. It is our vision that the identification of sleep-related risks in early life will be translated into novel approaches that will improve developmental disorders as well as mental and public health.

Keywords: Sleep during infancy and childhood, sleep regulation, brain connectivity, neurodevelopment, EEG, MRI

Topics: Sleep and Sleep Disorders

Project: http://www.sleep.uzh.ch/en/projects2016/p5.html

Publications: http://scholar.google.ch/citations?user=J2iWmzYAAAAJ&hl=de

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Hans-Peter Landolt

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Prof. Dr. sc. nat. Hans Peter Landolt

Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Zürich
landolt@pharma.uzh.ch

Research Focus: Sleep enables the brain to optimize higher cognitive functions such as learning and memory. My group focuses on the pre-clinical human neuropsychopharmacogenetics of CNS stimulants and hypnotics, and the neurochemical underpinnings of wakefulness and sleep. Along a molecule-to-human-to-medicine continuum, it aims at elucidating basic genetic and molecular mechanisms underlying sleep-related brain functions. Our research employs specific pharmacology, electro-encephalography, genotyping, brain imaging and neuro­cognitive testing to investigate the roles for neuromodulators, receptors and transporters in regulating sleep-associated waking functions. It is our vision that a basic understanding of the neuro­biological mechanisms underlying the detrimental and beneficial (i.e., antidepressant) effects of sleep loss will be translated into novel therapies that will improve brain functioning, general well-being, quality of life, and public health.

Keywords: Sleep-associated attentional, affective, and cognitive processes; individual vulnerability to sleep deprivation; disease- and age-related changes in sleep-associated brain functions

Topic: Sleep and Sleep Disorders, Neural Basis of Behavior

Publications: pubmed

Website: http://www.sleep.uzh.ch/about/people/management/landolt.html

 

   
Noain Daniela

 

Dr. Daniela Noain
Department of Neurology, University Hospital Zurich
daniela.noain@usz.ch

Research Focus: What restorative and/or neuroprotective processes unfold in the sleeping brain? Is slow-wave sleep a key player to their regulation and execution? And, therefore, could slow-wave sleep modulation be used to influence the course of neuropathological processes? The focus of our research is exploring the role of slow-wave sleep in the levels of brain proteins that lead to neurodegeneration. Aiming at implementing translational and highly specific slow-wave sleep modulation strategies in transgenic rodent models of disease, we develop innovative techniques, such as closed-loop acoustic stimulation of slow oscillations. Our ultimate goal is providing tools for and proof that modulations of slow-wave sleep regulate protein clearance in the sleeping brain and, therefore, could be translated into novel non-invasive human therapies against Alzheimer and Parkinson Disease, the two most common protein aggregation-related neurodegenerative diseases.

Keywords: Slow-wave sleep, modulation of sleep-wake states, neurodegeneration, Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, traumatic brain injury, brain clearance, behavioral testing.

Topic: Sleep and Sleep Disorders, Disorders of the Nervous System

Publications: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=noain+d

https://scholar.google.ch/citations?user=IeJ2JEMAAAAJ&hl=en

Website: http://www.sleep.uzh.ch/index.html
 

   
Werth Esther

 

Dr. sc. nat. Esther Werth
Department of Neurology, University Hospital Zurich
esther.werth@usz.ch
Research Focus: Sleep is a very sensitive marker of health problems. Most physical or mental diseases accompany changes in quantitative and qualitative patterns of sleep. Our recent research employs circadian (melatonin, core body temperature), homeostatic (EEG, slow wave activity) and behavioral (vigilance, activity) measures to study the pathophysiology of narcolepsy type 1 and idiopathic hypersomnia. A better understanding of the underlying pathophysiology of a sleep-wake disorder is always the most important step towards the development of tailored treatment strategies.

Keywords: sleep-wake disorder, vigilance, EEG, endogenous melatonin, core body temperature, rest-activity pattern

Topic: Sleep and Sleep Disorders, Disorders of the Nervous System

Publications: pubmed

Website: http://www.neurologie.usz.ch/forschung/seiten/epilepsie-und-schlaf.aspx