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Project 10738: BATMAN (Thermo-vigilance)



People involved:


Dr. Eus van Someren
Project function: Project Leader
Organisation: Nederlands Instituut voor Neurowetenschappen

Dr.ir. German Gomez-Herrero
Project function: Postdoc
Organisation: Nederlands Instituut voor Neurowetenschappen

drs Bart te Lindert
Project function: PhD candidate
Organisation: Nederlands Instituut voor Neurowetenschappen

drs Nico Romeijn
Project function: -
Organisation: Nederlands Instituut voor Neurowetenschappen

Prof.dr. Gert van Dijk
Project function: Co-applicant
Organisation: LUMC

Dr. Eric Fliers
Project function: Co-applicant
Organisation: AMC

Dr. Gert Jan Lammers
Project function: Co-applicant
Organisation: LUMC

Dr. Klaus Linkenkaer-Hansen
Project function: Co-applicant
Organisation: VU

Dr Ysbrand van der Werf
Project function: Co-applicant
Organisation: VUMC


Newsletter (2) November 2012

Unlike ROBIN, the BATMAN (Behavior, Alertness, and Thermoregulation: a Multivariate ANalysis) project pursues to identify the thermoregulatory system parameters from unrestrained ambulatory measurement of all inputs and outputs in the field, namely physical activity, posture, environmental light and temperature, electrocardiography, and skin temperature by means of a multi-sensor system as well as questionnaires and reaction times assessed on a PDA. These parameters will be validated against those derived under strictly controlled laboratory manipulations

Over the last few months our focus has been on further developing custom hard- and software for the simultaneous control of the light panels, the thermo suit and the chair (Figure 1), which allows for our factorial experimental design. Braintronics completed a custom 256 channel EEG amplifier, which is currently being tested with the EEG recording software of PHI international. Philips is optimizing the software and electronics of the miniature skin temperature sensors (Figure 2).
A fully operational MATLAB/Perl toolbox for automatic de-noising and artifact removal from high-density EEG recordings has been developed. This toolbox is unique in the sense of being fully automated and able to cope with the very high-density EEG recordings from the BATMAN project. As such, it has potential industrial applications as the features of the toolbox are not available in the software suites provided by the major manufacturers of high-density EEG systems.

A Perl module has been developed for the management of large databases of physiological and neuroimaging data, including high-density EEG, MEG, structural and functional MRI, and temperature data. The module has been comprehensively documented and is already being actively used by other ongoing projects at the Sleep & Cognition team. This software tool is a key component of the data analysis framework that we are developing for the BATMAN project. Contact Germán Gomez-Herrero for more details.

An algorithm (and MATLAB graphical user interface) that allows for sleep scoring based on 3-axial accelerometry has been developed. The steps have been documented in a manuscript and submitted for publication.
The questionnaires and a reaction time task written in C# have been implemented on the PDA (Figure 3, A). Combined with the light sensor (B), the ECG strap (C), the accelerometers (D), and the skin temperature sensors (E), this completes our ambulatory setup. Contact Bart te Lindert for more details.

An innovative setup for the accurate measurement of pupil diameter in response to bright blue and red light stimulation has been developed (Figure 4). Preliminary measurements indicated that pupil responses are modulated by posture. Contact Wisse van der Meijden for more details.



Newsletter (1) April 2012

The “Ambulatory thermoregulatory system identification in relation to vigilance disturbances” project is a collaboration between the Academic Medical Center (AMC), the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), the VU University Amsterdam (VU), the VU Medical Center (VUmc) and the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (NIN). The project pursues to identify the thermoregulatory system parameters from unrestrained ambulatory measurement of all inputs and outputs in the field, namely physical activity, posture, environmental light and temperature, electrocardiography, and skin temperature by means of a multi-sensor system as well as questionnaires and reaction times assessed on a PDA. These parameters will be validated against those derived under strictly controlled laboratory manipulations. In the lab we will manipulate posture, light and temperature and record skin temperature, reaction times and high-density electroencephalography (HD-EEG) as indicators of vigilance levels. Secondly we pursue to evaluate the value of each individual’s set parameters for classification according to diagnosis and according to the presence and severity of vigilance disturbances.

We have completed the development and acquisition of nearly all equipment. Philips has designed ambulatory infrared skin temperature sensors that allow for a higher time resolution than has been available to date. In addition Philips provided controllable light panels for our lab set-up. For our HD-EEG recordings Braintronics has customized a sophisticated amplifier. A joint effort of the electronics workshop of the NIN, Braintronics and PHI International has resulted in the synchronized recording of all lab measurements to a single data file.

Currently, we are testing all equipment and performing pilot measurements to estimate parameters of physiological response to perturbations to optimize our protocol.
We expect to be able to define an assessment and analysis protocol to identify both disease-specific parameter deviations with possible diagnostic value, as well as more generalized parameter deviations that relate to vigilance disturbances. A better understanding will allow for the development of rational therapies to improve ‘vigilance’ and thereby quality of life.


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Introduction
 


The Project "Sleep, fatigue and body temperature in health and disease" aims to understand the role of temperature in the sleep problems and fatigue that many patients with brain disorders suffer from. In Amsterdam and Leiden, multiparameter physiological assessments will be made in the lab and at home, in controls and several patient groups. Three candidates, preferably two PhD candidates and one Postdoc should together cover patient equipment testing, patient recruitment, measurement and fairly complex multivariate analyses.

Recent findings indicate a strong association of thermoregulation to fatigue, sleepiness and disturbances of daytime vigilance and nocturnal sleep. This set of complaints may be the most common denominator of functional impairments that strongly affect quality of life in disorders of the central nervous system. Yet, these vigilance complaints belong to the least understood symptoms and are often neglected. In order to better understand the complaints and their relationship to possibly disturbed thermoregulation we will perform long-term assessment of fluctuations in behavioral and environmental variables as well as thermoregulatory and vigilance responses. Using multivariate regression techniques the timeseries will be used to identify the system and its parameters and possible abnormalities in patients suffering from insomnia, narcolepsy, Parkinson, syncope or hypothalamic-pituitary insufficiency. We expect to be able to define an assessment and analysis protocol to identify both disease-specific parameter deviations with possible diagnostic value, as well as more generalized parameter deviations that relate to vigilance disturbances. A better understanding will allow for the development of rational therapies to improve fatigue and sleep problems and thereby quality of life.

PhD candidates and postdocs will work in the Sleep and Cognition group of Prof. EJW Van Someren at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience: visit website.
All vacancies have been fulfilled.

For more information please mail to e.van.someren@nin.knaw.nl

Partners

Philips, Braintronics (Equipment for Neurophysiology), PHIi (Personal Health Institute international )