Epileptiform Activity During REM Sleep in Alzheimer's Disease (EREMAD)

  • End date
    Jun 7, 2023
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    University Hospital, Toulouse
Updated on 23 January 2022
mini-mental state examination
mental state examination
apolipoprotein e
Accepts healthy volunteers


Recent clinical data showed that patients with Alzheimer Disease (AD) might present epilepsy at early stages of the disease (Cretin et al., 2016, Vossel et al., 2016). In mice models of Alzheimer disease, preclinical researchers observed an increase of epileptic events during Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, which is very unusual. This study aims at testing if patients with AD present an exacerbation of epileptic events during REM sleep, which could constitute an early biomarker of the disease. Investigators will evaluate the incidence of epilepsy during each sleep stage in 40 patients with early or moderate forms of AD and in 40 healthy subjects. Investigators will also look for a link between epilepsy during sleep in AD participants and memory performances, brain damage (by using MRI scans) and in the case of patients, the phenotype of the Apolipoprotein E(ApoE) gene.


Preclinical researchers discovered that the Tg2576 mouse model of Alzheimer Disease (AD) presents epileptiform activity specifically during sleep, with a prominent increase during REM-sleep. This phenotype is specific to AD mice since REM-sleep usually prevents seizures and epileptiform activity in animal models of epilepsy. Preclinical research also evidenced that this epileptic phenotype occurs at very early age in Tg2576 mice, far before the onset of cognitive impairments. Thus, it was hypothesized that patients with AD might present subclinical epileptiform events during sleep with a potential worsening during REM-sleep. If so, it could be used as a specific and early biomarker of AD. Since sleep is involved in memory consolidation processes, preclinical researchers also hypothesized that epileptiform events during sleep might participate to cognitive dysfunction in AD patients.

In order to test this hypothesis, a monocentric clinical study with a protocol consisting of three visits was designed aiming at evaluating seizures and subclinical epileptiform activity

  • and their consequences on memory - during sleep in 31 patients at early to moderate stages of AD and 31 matched healthy participants. During the first visit, a blood sample is collected of each patient for genetic testing of the ApoE gene before they undergo a high-resolution MRI scan. During the second visit (in the 60 days following the first one) participants first undergo a neuropsychological evaluation including visual, verbal and episodic memory tests before an overnight polysomnography. Following the overnight polysomnography, all subjects (patients and healthy participants) will be tested for the memories acquired the day before in order to evaluate sleep related memory consolidation. During the last visit, participants will fill out questionnaires aiming at evaluating pre-diagnostic lifestyle and they (and one family member if possible) will be interviewed about the presence of symptoms that might indicate an underlying epileptic syndrome for the participant. Healthy subjects will undergo the same procedures except for the blood test from which they will be exempted.

This should allow to evidence sleep related epileptic events, to precise their incidence in AD patients as well as in healthy participants, and to correlate these events to anomalies in brain structure and functional resting state connectivity (MRI) and/or sleep disturbances and/or cognitive decline.

Condition Alzheimer Disease, Early Onset
Treatment Blood sample, neuropsychological evaluation, Overnight polysomnography, high-resolution MRI scan
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03923569
SponsorUniversity Hospital, Toulouse
Last Modified on23 January 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

For all participants
age from 50 to 90 years old
affiliated to the French health care system
For AD patients
meeting International Working Group (IWG)-2 criteria for diagnosis
Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) 18 (Greco version)
For healthy volunteers
Dubois 5 words test 9

Exclusion Criteria

For all participants
people not able to give consent
contraindication for MRI (metallic body parts, claustrophobia)
aphasia, apraxia or agnosia
neurological (other than AD) or any other serious disease (cancer, addiction, systemic disease)
non treated sleep apnea
major depression or anxiety for more than 3 months (Beck>10) or psychiatric disease
documented epilepsy
use of neuroleptics (more than one dose per day)
use of antiepileptics
use of benzodiazepines at a dose superior or equal to two intakes per day
use of antidepressants
restless leg syndrome treated by dopaminergic agonists
For AD patients
other causes of dementia
non-degenerative neurological lesions
white matter hypersignals
acute cognitive deficits
Clear my responses

How to participate?

Step 1 Connect with a study center
What happens next?
  • You can expect the study team to contact you via email or phone in the next few days.
  • Sign up as volunteer  to help accelerate the development of new treatments and to get notified about similar trials.

You are contacting

Investigator Avatar

Primary Contact


Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

Learn more

If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

Learn more

Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

Learn more

Similar trials to consider


Browse trials for

Not finding what you're looking for?

Every year hundreds of thousands of volunteers step forward to participate in research. Sign up as a volunteer and receive email notifications when clinical trials are posted in the medical category of interest to you.

Sign up as volunteer

user name

Added by • 



Reply by • Private

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur, adipisicing elit. Ipsa vel nobis alias. Quae eveniet velit voluptate quo doloribus maxime et dicta in sequi, corporis quod. Ea, dolor eius? Dolore, vel!

  The passcode will expire in None.

No annotations made yet

Add a private note
  • abc Select a piece of text from the left.
  • Add notes visible only to you.
  • Send it to people through a passcode protected link.
Add a private note