The association between inadequate sleep and accelerated brain ageing

Jivesh Ramduny, Matteo Bastiani, Robin Huedepohl, Stamatios N. Sotiropoulos, Magdalena Chechlacz

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Numerous studies indicate large heterogeneity in brain ageing, which can be attributed to modifiable lifestyle factors, including sleep. Inadequate sleep has been previously linked to gray (GM) and white (WM) matter changes. However, the reported findings are highly inconsistent. By contrast to previous research independently characterizing patterns of either GM or WM changes, we used here linked independent component analysis (FLICA) to examine covariation in GM and WM in a group of older adults (n=50). Next, we employed a novel technique to estimate the brain age delta (difference between chronological and brain age assessed using neuroimaging data) and study its associations with sleep quality and sleep fragmentation, hypothesizing that inadequate sleep accelerates brain ageing. FLICA revealed a number of multimodal components, associated with age, sleep quality and sleep fragmentation. Subsequently, we show significant associations between brain age delta and inadequate sleep, suggesting two years deviation above the chronological age. Our findings indicate sensitivity of multimodal approaches and brain age delta in detecting link between inadequate sleep and accelerated brain ageing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Early online date19 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We warmly thank the volunteers from the School of Psychology panel and the Birmingham 1000 Elders group for participation in this study. This work was supported by the Birmingham-Nottingham Strategic Collaboration Fund (BNSCF336 to SNS and MC) and by a Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund critical data award (204846/Z/16/Z to MC). SS was also supported by the Wellcome Trust (217266/Z/19/Z) and by an ERC Consolidator Grant (101000969). MC was also supported by a BRIDGE (Birmingham-Illinois Partnership for Discovery, Engagement and Education) Fellowship.


  • Ageing
  • Brain age
  • Gray matter
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Sleep
  • White matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Ageing
  • Developmental Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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