Exploring Diurnal Changes in Markers of Cortical Plasticity Using Multimodal Imaging in Healthy Children, Adolescents and Adults

Brain Maturation and Sleep


Lead sponsor: University Children's Hospital, Zurich

Source University Children's Hospital, Zurich
Brief Summary

In this study, the investigator evaluates whether there are age-specific diurnal changes in markers of cortical plasticity in children, adolescents and adults. The question will be investigated by the quantification of brain metabolites and structural brain volumes using magnet resonance imaging (MRI) and electrophysiological markers using sleep encephalography (sleep EEG). In a second step, it will be tested how these markers of cortical plasticity change depending on a modulation of sleep by applying tones during deep sleep.

Detailed Description

Given that children and adolescents undergo entirely different maturational processes (children show an increase, adolescents a decrease in synapse density) larger diurnal changes in children are expected compared to adolescents concerning brain metabolites and structural markers. These cortical changes in synapse density are thought to be reflected in electrophysiological markers in the sleep EEG (children show a higher slow wave activity, adolescents a reduced slow wave activity). With the modulation of the deep (slow wave) sleep by playing short, low volume tones, the investigators want to test if there is a causal relationship between slow wave sleep and markers of cortical plasticity.

Overall Status Recruiting
Start Date June 2016
Completion Date January 2021
Primary Completion Date January 2021
Phase N/A
Study Type Interventional
Primary Outcome
Measure Time Frame
Diurnal changes in brain metabolites 3 years
Secondary Outcome
Measure Time Frame
electrophysiological markers change in dependance of the diurnal variation of brain metabolites 3 years
structural markers change in dependance of the diurnal variation of brain metabolites 3 years
Enrollment 90

Intervention type: Other

Intervention name: Playing tones during deep sleep

Description: Playing tones time locked to slow waves (Duration:50ms, volume: 50dB)

Arm group label: playing tones

Intervention type: Other

Intervention name: sham condition

Description: in the sham condition, no tones will be played

Arm group label: Playing no tones



Inclusion Criteria:

- Male and female subjects 8 to 30 years of age,

- good general health Status

- right-handedness,

- Written informed consent after participants` information

Exclusion Criteria:

- sleep disorders (insomnia, sleep disordered breathing, restless legs syndrome)

- sleep complaints in general

- irregular sleep-wake rhythm

- daytime sleep

- travelling across a time zone within the last month

- diseases or lesions of the central nervous system

- psychiatric diseases

- learning disability

- skin allergy or very sensitive skin

- acute pediatric disease

- pregnancy

- drug and medication use and abuse

- nicotine use

- high caffeine consumption (>2 servings/day (>160 mg caffeine); including coffee, tea, white and dark chocolate, coca cola, energy drink)

- Alcohol consumption in children and adolescents under 16 years

- high alcohol consumption in adults (> 1 standard serving/day (>14 mg Alcohol))

- high alcohol consumption in adolescents aged 16 years and above (> 3-4 Standard servings per week)

Gender: All

Minimum age: 8 Years

Maximum age: 30 Years

Healthy volunteers: Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Overall Contact

Last name: Carina Volk

Phone: +41 44 266 8186

Email: [email protected]

facility status contact investigator
University Children's Hospital Zurich Recruiting Carina Volk +41 44 266 8186 [email protected] Reto Huber Principal Investigator
Location Countries


Verification Date

April 2019

Responsible Party

Responsible party type: Sponsor

Has Expanded Access No
Number Of Arms 2
Arm Group

Arm group label: playing tones

Arm group type: Active Comparator

Description: During slow-wave sleep short tones (50ms, 50dB) will be played

Arm group label: Playing no tones

Arm group type: Sham Comparator

Description: During slow-wave sleep no tones will be played

Acronym BMS
Study Design Info

Allocation: Randomized

Intervention model: Crossover Assignment

Primary purpose: Basic Science

Masking: Single (Participant)

Source: ClinicalTrials.gov