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Poster C140

Age and Sex Moderate the Effects of Sleep Quality on Resting-State Functional Connectivity in the Salience and Default Mode Network

Poster Session C - Sunday, April 14, 2024, 5:00 – 7:00 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Selene Tan1, Matthew Cribbet1, Jeanne Cundiff1, Ian McDonough2; 1University of Alabama, 2Binghamton University

Advanced aging often coincides with declining sleep quality, which can contribute to cognitive decline and an increased risk of dementia. Neuroimaging offers valuable insights into how poor sleep may affect brain health before cognitive or behavioral changes appear. Moreover, it is essential to consider potential age- and sex-related differences in these effects. The goal of this study was to investigate how age and sex moderate the impact of sleep quality on resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC). Based on the extant literature, we predicted that sleep quality would significantly impact connectivity in the default mode network (DMN), salience network, and the amygdala. Adults (N=107), aged 20-74, completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and underwent two 5-min sessions of rsFC. Three-way interactions between age, sex, and sleep quality were found between the DMN and the left superior parietal lobule (lSPL). A two-way interaction between age and sleep quality was found between the salience network and right precentral gyrus (PreCG)/post central gyrus (PoCG). No relationships were found using the amygdala as a seed region. Follow-up analyses suggested that sleep latency was the largest contributor to the sleep quality-connectivity effects found. The results suggest that poor sleep affects the salience networks in both males and females, with variations in adaptive patterns depending on age. The DMN appears particularly sensitive to sleep impairments in females, with younger and older adults adapting differently, implicating different compensatory mechanisms. Longer sleep latency may indicate a risk for insomnia and in turn suggests hyperarousal as a possible mechanism.

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