Polygenic score for sleep duration. Association with cognition

Tsapanou, Angeliki; Gao, Yizhe; Stern, Yaakov; Barral Rodriguez, Sandra M.

Study objectives: Age-related changes in sleep include a reduction in total sleep time and a greater incidence of sleep disorders, and are also an integral part of neurodegenerations. In the present study, we aimed to: a) identify common genetic variants that may influence self-reported sleep duration, and b) examine the association between the identified genetic variants and performance in different cognitive domains.

Methods: A sample of 197 cognitively healthy participants, aged 20–80 years, mostly non-Hispanic Whites (69%), were selected from the Reference Abilities Neural Network and the Cognitive Reserve study. Each participant underwent an evaluation of sleep function and assessment of neuropsychological performance on global cognition and four different domains (memory, speed of processing, fluid reasoning, language). Published GWAS summary statistics from a Polygenic Score (PS) for sleep duration in a large European ancestry cohort (N = 30,251) were used to derive a PS in our study sample. Multivariate linear models were used to test the associations between the PS and sleep duration and cognitive performance. Age, sex, and education were used as covariates. Secondary analyses were conducted in three age-groups (young, middle, old).

Results: Higher PS was linked to longer sleep duration and was also associated with better performance in global cognition, fluid reasoning, speed of processing, and language, but not memory. Results especially for fluid reasoning, language, and global cognition were driven mostly by the young group.

Conclusions: Our study replicated the previously reported association between sleep-PS and longer sleep duration. We additionally found a significant association between the sleep-PS and cognitive function. Our results suggest that common genetic variants may influence the link between sleep duration and cognitive health.


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May 4, 2021