Mensen A, Pigorini A, Facchin L, Schöne C, D'Ambrosio S, Jendoubi J, Jaramillo V, Chiffi K, Eberhard-Moscicka AK, Sarasso S, Adamantidis A, Müri RM, Huber R, Massimini M, Bassetti C.
J Neurosci Methods. 2019 Feb 1;313:37-43. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2018.12.011. Epub 2018 Dec 17. Review.

Our own experiences with disturbances to sleep demonstrate its crucial role in the recovery of cognitive functions. This importance is likely enhanced in the recovery from stroke; both in terms of its physiology and cognitive abilities. Decades of experimental research have highlighted which aspects and mechanisms of sleep are likely to underlie these forms of recovery. Conversely, damage to certain areas of the brain, as well as the indirect effects of stroke, may disrupt sleep. However, only limited research has been conducted which seeks to directly explore this bidirectional link between both the macro and micro-architecture of sleep and stroke. Here we describe a series of semi-independent approaches that aim to establish this link through observational, perturbational, and interventional experiments. Our primary aim is to describe the methodology for future clinical and translational research needed to delineate competing accounts of the current data. At the observational level we suggest the use of high-density EEG recording, combined analysis of macro and micro-architecture of sleep, detailed analysis of the stroke lesion, and sensitive measures of functional recovery. The perturbational approach attempts to find the causal links between sleep and stroke. We promote the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation combined with EEG to examine the cortical dynamics of the peri-infarct stroke area. Translational research should take this a step further using optogenetic techniques targeting more specific cell populations. The interventional approach focuses on how the same clinical and translational perturbational techniques can be adapted to influence long-term recovery of function.

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