A pilot study to understand the relationship between cortical arousals and leg movements during sleep

Kanika Bansal, Javier Garcia, Cody Feltch, Christopher Earley, Ryan Robucci, Nilanjan Banerjee, Justin Brooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Leg movements during sleep occur in patients with sleep pathology and healthy individuals. Some (but not all) leg movements during sleep are related to cortical arousals which occur without conscious awareness but have a significant effect of sleep fragmentation. Detecting leg movements during sleep that are associated with cortical arousals can provide unique insight into the nature and quality of sleep. In this study, a novel leg movement monitor that uses a unique capacitive displacement sensor and 6-axis inertial measurement unit, is used in conjunction with polysomnography to understand the relationship between leg movement and electroencephalogram (EEG) defined cortical arousals. In an approach that we call neuro-extremity analysis, directed connectivity metrics are used to interrogate causal linkages between EEG and leg movements measured by the leg movement sensors. The capacitive displacement measures were more closely related to EEG-defined cortical arousals than inertial measurements. Second, the neuro-extremity analysis reveals a temporally evolving connectivity pattern that is consistent with a model of cortical arousals in which brainstem dysfunction leads to near-instantaneous leg movements and a delayed, filtered signal to the cortex leading to the cortical arousal during sleep.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number12685
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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