Thorsten Mikoteit, MD: Sleep Research, an Excellent Source for Biomarkers


The Psychiatrist at Psychiatric Services Solothurn and University of Basel discussed how heart rate variability correlates with sleep stages, which may indicate nocturnal brain activity.

“We believe that these variables have a very promising and high potential to be applied to clinical questions at the bedside of our patients.”

NeurologyLive sat down with Thorsten Mikoteit, MD, Psychiatrist, Psychiatric Services Solothurn and University of Basel, Solothurn, in an exclusive interview at the 24th Congress of European Sleep Research Society in Basel, Switzerland, to delve deeper into the correlation of heart rate variability and sleep stages, revealing that sleep offers an experimental condition of the working brain.

Sleep research, Mikoteit explained, has a high potential to relate to psychiatry and is an excellent source for biomarkers in the field. Researchers pooled the findings from heart rate variability to wake time conditions, which uncovered a small effect size, but when looking at heart rate variability and sleep stages, high effect sizes were found.

Mikoteit noted that when comparing their findings of heart rate variability and sleep stages based on controlled clinical samples by polysomnography, to the new imaging findings, the new imaging findings did not provide variables with a high effect size that could be used in clinical practice. The physiologic variables Mikoteit and colleagues identified are expected to be promising, with a high potential of application in a clinical setting.

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