Association Between Glaucoma and Sleep Disorders
MentorKevin C Chan, PhD
We aim to understand the mechanisms of neurodegeneration in glaucoma that may lead to sleep disorders. 1. We will investigate whether the altered functional connectivity in the sleep-inducing area and the arousal systems in the subcortical brain structures underlie sleep disorders in glaucoma. 2. We will test whether the altered functional connectivity between the main sleep-inducing subcortical area and the cortical areas underlies sleep disorders in glaucoma. 3. We will test whether the altered neurochemical balance between excitation and inhibition in the main sleep-inducing area and cortical areas underlies sleep disorders in glaucoma.
Glaucoma patients have a high incidence of sleep disorders. While the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus, the main sleep-inducing hub, receives the input from intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells known to be impaired in glaucoma, no studies have yet examined how the sleep-regulating systems are affected by glaucoma. This proposal will provide a mechanistic account of glaucoma pathogenesis that underlies sleep disorders. Mainly, this study will reveal if alterations in the functional connectivity and neurochemical balance underlie sleep disorders in glaucoma. The outcomes of this project will provide a better understanding of glaucoma pathogenesis that underlies sleep disorders. Furthermore, the outcomes will advance clinical treatments for glaucoma patients who suffer from sleep disorders.