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Using Actiwatch to monitor circadian rhythm disturbance in Huntington' disease: A cautionary note

Townhill, Jenny, Hughes, Alis, Thomas, Benny, Busse, Monica ORCID:, Price, Kathryn, Dunnett, Stephen Bruce ORCID:, Hastings, Michael H. and Rosser, Anne Elizabeth ORCID: 2016. Using Actiwatch to monitor circadian rhythm disturbance in Huntington' disease: A cautionary note. Journal of Neuroscience Methods 265 , pp. 13-18. 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2016.01.009

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Huntington's disease (HD) is an inherited neurodegenerative disorder that is well recognised as producing progressive deterioration of motor function, including dyskinetic movements, as well as deterioration of cognition and ability to carry out activities of daily living. However, individuals with HD commonly suffer from a wide range of additional symptoms, including weight loss and sleep disturbance, possibly due to disruption of circadian rhythmicity. Disrupted circadian rhythms have been reported in mice models of HD and in humans with HD. One way of assessing an individual's circadian rhythmicity in a community setting is to monitor their sleep/wake cycles, and a convenient method for recording periods of wakefulness and sleep is to use accelerometers to discriminate between varied activity levels (including sleep) during daily life. Here we used Actiwatch® Activity monitors alongside ambulatory EEG and sleep diaries to record wake/sleep patterns in people with HD and normal volunteers. We report that periods of wakefulness during the night, as detected by activity monitors, agreed poorly with EEG recordings in HD subjects, and unsurprisingly sleep diary findings showed poor agreement with both EEG recordings and activity monitor derived sleep periods. One explanation for this is the occurrence of 'break through' involuntary movements during sleep in the HD patients, which are incorrectly assessed as wakeful periods by the activity monitor algorithms. Thus, care needs to be taken when using activity monitors to assess circadian activity in individuals with movement disorders.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Healthcare Sciences
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
ISSN: 0165-0270
Funders: MRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 29 April 2016
Date of Acceptance: 5 January 2016
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2023 20:47

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