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Sandra Renberg TammGästdoktorand


I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas

  • Cortical thickness and resting-state cardiac function across the lifespan

    2021. Julian Koenig (et al.). Psychophysiology 58 (7)


    Understanding the association between autonomic nervous system [ANS] function and brain morphology across the lifespan provides important insights into neurovisceral mechanisms underlying health and disease. Resting-state ANS activity, indexed by measures of heart rate [HR] and its variability [HRV] has been associated with brain morphology, particularly cortical thickness [CT]. While findings have been mixed regarding the anatomical distribution and direction of the associations, these inconsistencies may be due to sex and age differences in HR/HRV and CT. Previous studies have been limited by small sample sizes, which impede the assessment of sex differences and aging effects on the association between ANS function and CT. To overcome these limitations, 20 groups worldwide contributed data collected under similar protocols of CT assessment and HR/HRV recording to be pooled in a mega-analysis (N = 1,218 (50.5% female), mean age 36.7 years (range: 12–87)). Findings suggest a decline in HRV as well as CT with increasing age. CT, particularly in the orbitofrontal cortex, explained additional variance in HRV, beyond the effects of aging. This pattern of results may suggest that the decline in HRV with increasing age is related to a decline in orbitofrontal CT. These effects were independent of sex and specific to HRV; with no significant association between CT and HR. Greater CT across the adult lifespan may be vital for the maintenance of healthy cardiac regulation via the ANS—or greater cardiac vagal activity as indirectly reflected in HRV may slow brain atrophy. Findings reveal an important association between CT and cardiac parasympathetic activity with implications for healthy aging and longevity that should be studied further in longitudinal research.

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  • ENIGMA-Sleep

    2021. Masoud Tahmasian (et al.). Journal of Sleep Research 30 (6)


    Neuroimaging and genetics studies have advanced our understanding of the neurobiology of sleep and its disorders. However, individual studies usually have limitations to identifying consistent and reproducible effects, including modest sample sizes, heterogeneous clinical characteristics and varied methodologies. These issues call for a large-scale multi-centre effort in sleep research, in order to increase the number of samples, and harmonize the methods of data collection, preprocessing and analysis using pre-registered well-established protocols. The Enhancing NeuroImaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis (ENIGMA) consortium provides a powerful collaborative framework for combining datasets across individual sites. Recently, we have launched the ENIGMA-Sleep working group with the collaboration of several institutes from 15 countries to perform large-scale worldwide neuroimaging and genetics studies for better understanding the neurobiology of impaired sleep quality in population-based healthy individuals, the neural consequences of sleep deprivation, pathophysiology of sleep disorders, as well as neural correlates of sleep disturbances across various neuropsychiatric disorders. In this introductory review, we describe the details of our currently available datasets and our ongoing projects in the ENIGMA-Sleep group, and discuss both the potential challenges and opportunities of a collaborative initiative in sleep medicine.

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  • Objective and Subjective Sleep in Rheumatoid Arthritis and Severe Seasonal Allergy

    2021. Sandra Tamm (et al.). Nature and Science of Sleep 13, 775-789


    Introduction: Disturbed sleep in inflammatory disorders such as allergy and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is common and may be directly or indirectly related to disease processes, but has not been well characterized in these patient groups, especially not with objective methods.

    Aim: The present study aimed to characterize objective and subjective sleep in patients with allergy or RA using sleep diaries, one-channel EEG and actigraphy. It also aimed to investigate if sleep measures were associated with central immune activation, assessed using translocator protein (TSPO) positron emission tomography, as well as cytokine markers of peripheral inflammation and disease-specific symptoms or general symptoms of sickness.

    Methods: In total, 18 patients with seasonal pollen allergy, 18 patients with RA and 26 healthy controls were included in the study. Allergy patients and matched controls were assessed twice, in and out of pollen season, and RA patients and controls were assessed once. Sleep was recorded for approximately 1 week at each occasion.

    Results: Patients with allergy had increased levels of slow-wave sleep during pollen season. In contrast, patients with RA had less SWS compared to healthy controls, while no differences were observed in sleep duration or subjective sleep quality. Across groups, neither proinflammatory cytokines, grey matter TSPO levels nor general sickness symptoms were associated with objective or subjective measures of sleep. Rhinitis, but not conjunctivitis, was correlated to worse subjective sleep and more slow wave sleep in allergy. Functional status, but not disease activity, predicted lower subjective sleep in RA.

    Conclusion: This study tentatively indicates that both patients with allergy and RA display sleep alterations but does not support inflammation as an independent predictor of the sleep disturbance across these patient groups.

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  • Oxazepam and cognitive reappraisal

    2021. Gustav Nilsonne (et al.). PLOS ONE 16 (4)


    Background: Cognitive reappraisal is a strategy for emotional regulation, important in the context of anxiety disorders. It is not known whether anxiolytic effects of benzodiazepines affect cognitive reappraisal.

    Aims: We aimed to investigate the effect of 25 mg oxazepam on cognitive reappraisal.

    Methods: In a preliminary investigation, 33 healthy male volunteers were randomised to oxazepam or placebo, and then underwent an experiment where they were asked to use cognitive reappraisal to upregulate or downregulate their emotional response to images with negative or neutral emotional valence. We recorded unpleasantness ratings, skin conductance, superciliary corrugator muscle activity, and heart rate. Participants completed rating scales measuring empathy (Interpersonal Reactivity Index, IRI), anxiety (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, STAI), alexithymia (Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20, TAS-20), and psychopathy (Psychopathy Personality Inventory-Revised, PPI-R).

    Results: Upregulation to negative-valence images in the cognitive reappraisal task caused increased unpleasantness ratings, corrugator activity, and heart rate compared to downregulation. Upregulation to both negative- and neutral-valence images caused increased skin conductance responses. Oxazepam caused lower unpleasantness ratings to negative-valence stimuli, but did not interact with reappraisal instruction on any outcome. Self-rated trait empathy was associated with stronger responses to negative-valence stimuli, whereas self-rated psychopathic traits were associated with weaker responses to negative-valence stimuli.

    Conclusions: While 25 mg oxazepam caused lower unpleasantness ratings in response to negative-valence images, we did not observe an effect of 25 mg oxazepam on cognitive reappraisal.

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  • Spontaneous eye movements during eyes-open rest reduce resting-state-network modularity by increasing visual-sensorimotor connectivity

    2021. Cemal Koba (et al.). Network Neuroscience 5 (2), 451-476


    During wakeful rest, individuals make small eye movements during fixation. We examined how these endogenously driven oculomotor patterns impact topography and topology of functional brain networks. We used a dataset consisting of eyes-open resting-state (RS) fMRI data with simultaneous eye tracking. The eye-tracking data indicated minor movements during rest, which correlated modestly with RS BOLD data. However, eye-tracking data correlated well with echo-planar imaging time series sampled from the area of the eye-orbit (EO-EPI), which is a signal previously used to identify eye movements during exogenous saccades and movie viewing. Further analyses showed that EO-EPI data were correlated with activity in an extensive motor and sensorimotor network, including components of the dorsal attention network and the frontal eye fields. Partialling out variance related to EO-EPI from RS data reduced connectivity, primarily between sensorimotor and visual areas. It also produced networks with higher modularity, lower mean connectivity strength, and lower mean clustering coefficient. Our results highlight new aspects of endogenous eye movement control during wakeful rest. They show that oculomotor-related contributions form an important component of RS network topology, and that those should be considered in interpreting differences in network structure between populations or as a function of different experimental conditions.

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  • A combined fMRI and EMG study of emotional contagion following partial sleep deprivation in young and older humans

    2020. Sandra Tamm (et al.). Scientific Reports 10 (1)


    Sleep deprivation is proposed to inhibit top-down-control in emotion processing, but it is unclear whether sleep deprivation affects emotional mimicry and contagion. Here, we aimed to investigate effects of partial sleep deprivation on emotional contagion and mimicry in young and older humans. Participants underwent partial sleep deprivation (3 h sleep opportunity at the end of night), crossed-over with a full sleep condition in a balanced order, followed by a functional magnetic resonance imaging and electromyography (EMG) experiment with viewing of emotional and neutral faces and ratings of emotional responses. The final sample for main analyses was n = 69 (n = 36 aged 20–30 years, n = 33 aged 65–75 years). Partial sleep deprivation caused decreased activation in fusiform gyri for angry faces and decreased ratings of happiness for all stimuli, but no significant effect on the amygdala. Older participants reported more anger compared to younger participants, but no age differences were seen in brain responses to emotional faces or sensitivity to partial sleep deprivation. No effect of the sleep manipulation was seen on EMG. In conclusion, emotional contagion, but not mimicry, was affected by sleep deprivation. Our results are consistent with the previously reported increased negativity bias after insufficient sleep.

    The Stockholm sleepy brain study: effects of sleep deprivation on cognitive and emotional processing in young and old.

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  • Gray Matter Volume Correlates of Sleepiness

    2020. Torbjörn Åkerstedt (et al.). Nature and Science of Sleep 12, 289-298


    Background: Subjectively experienced sleepiness is a problem in society, possibly linked with gray matter (GM) volume. Given a different sleep pattern, aging may affect such associations, possibly due to shrinking brain volume.

    Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to investigate the association between subjectively rated sleepiness and GM volume in thalamus, insula, hippocampus, and orbitofrontal cortex of young and older adults, after a normal night’s sleep.

    Methods: Eighty-four healthy individuals participated (46 aged 20– 30 years, and 38 aged 65– 75 years). Morphological brain data were collected in a 3T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner. Sleepiness was rated multiple times during the imaging sessions.

    Results: In older, relative to younger, adults, clusters within bilateral mid-anterior insular cortex and right thalamus were negatively associated with sleepiness. Adjustment for the immediately preceding total sleep time eliminated the significant associations.

    Conclusion: Self-rated momentary sleepiness in a monotonous situation appears to be negatively associated with GM volume in clusters within both thalamus and insula in older individuals, and total sleep time seems to play a role in this association. Possibly, this suggests that larger GM volume in these clusters may be protective against sleepiness in older individuals. This notion needs confirmation in further studies.

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  • Mood impairment is stronger in young than in older adults after sleep deprivation

    2019. Johanna Schwarz (et al.). Journal of Sleep Research 28 (4)


    Sleep deprivation commonly impairs affective regulation and causes worse mood. However, the majority of previous research concerns young adults. Because susceptibility to sleep deprivation and emotion regulation change distinctively across adult age, we tested here the hypothesis that the effect of sleep deprivation on mood is stronger in young than in older adults. In an experimental design, young (18–30 years) and older adults (60–72 years) participated in either a sleep control (young, n = 63; older, n = 47) or a total sleep deprivation condition (young, n = 61; older, n = 47). Sleepiness, mood and common symptoms of sleep deprivation were measured using established questionnaires and ratings. Sleep‐deprived participants felt more sleepy, stressed and cold, and reported lower vigour and positive affect, regardless of age. All the other outcome measures (negative affect, depression, confusion, tension, anger, fatigue, total mood disturbance, hunger, cognitive attenuation, irritability) showed a weaker response to sleep deprivation in the older group, as indicated by age*sleep deprivation interactions (ps < 0.05). The results show that older adults are emotionally less affected by sleep deprivation than young adults. This tolerance was mainly related to an attenuated increase in negative mood. This could possibly be related to the well‐known positivity effect, which suggests that older adults prioritize regulating their emotions to optimize well‐being. The results also highlight that caution is warranted when generalizing results from sleep deprivation studies across the adult lifespan.

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  • Sleep restriction caused impaired emotional regulation without detectable brain activation changes—a functional magnetic resonance imaging study

    2019. Sandra Tamm (et al.). Royal Society Open Science 6 (3)


    Sleep restriction has been proposed to cause impaired emotional processing and emotional regulation by inhibiting top-down control from prefrontal cortex to amygdala. Intentional emotional regulation after sleep restriction has, however, never been studied using brain imaging. We aimed here to investigate the effect of partial sleep restriction on emotional regulation through cognitive reappraisal. Forty-seven young (age 20–30) and 33 older (age 65–75) participants (38/23 with complete data and successful sleep intervention) performed a cognitive reappraisal task during fMRI after a night of normal sleep and after restricted sleep (3 h). Emotional downregulation was associated with significantly increased activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (pFWE < 0.05) and lateral orbital cortex (pFWE < 0.05) in young, but not in older subjects. Sleep restriction was associated with a decrease in self-reported regulation success to negative stimuli (p< 0.01) and a trend towards perceiving all stimuli as less negative (p = 0.07) in young participants. No effects of sleep restriction on brain activity nor connectivity were found in either age group. In conclusion, our data do not support the idea of a prefrontal-amygdala disconnect after sleep restriction, and neural mechanisms underlying behavioural effects on emotional regulation after insufficient sleep require further investigation.

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  • Evidence of fatigue, disordered sleep and peripheral inflammation, but not increased brain TSPO expression, in seasonal allergy

    2018. Sandra Tamm (et al.). Brain, behavior, and immunity 68, 146-157


    Allergy is associated with non-specific symptoms such as fatigue, sleep problems and impaired cognition. One explanation could be that the allergic inflammatory state includes activation of immune cells in the brain, but this hypothesis has not been tested in humans. The aim of the present study was therefore to investigate seasonal changes in the glial cell marker translocator protein (TSPO), and to relate this to peripheral inflammation, fatigue and sleep, in allergy. We examined 18 patients with severe seasonal allergy, and 13 healthy subjects in and out-of pollen season using positron emission tomography (n = 15/13) and the TSPO radioligand [11C]PBR28. In addition, TNF-α, IL-5, IL-6, IL-8 and IFN-γ were measured in peripheral blood, and subjective ratings of fatigue and sleepiness as well as objective and subjective sleep were investigated. No difference in levels of TSPO was seen between patients and healthy subjects, nor in relation to pollen season. However, allergic subjects displayed both increased fatigue, sleepiness and increased percentage of deep sleep, as well as increased levels of IL-5 and TNF-α during pollen season, compared to healthy subjects. Allergic subjects also had shorter total sleep time, regardless of season. In conclusion, allergic subjects are indicated to respond to allergen exposure during pollen season with a clear pattern of behavioral disruption and peripheral inflammatory activation, but not with changes in brain TSPO levels. This underscores a need for development and use of more specific markers to understand brain consequences of peripheral inflammation that will be applicable in human subjects.

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