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21 Dec | 2023

Researcher Laura Stankeviciute defends the fourth doctoral thesis done at the BBRC

Laura Stankeviciute, researcher at the Barcelonaβeta Brain Research Center (BBRC), has successfully defended her doctoral thesis on the role of sleep in the preclinical stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

Her work, entitled ‘Sleep in the preclinical stages of Alzheimer’s disease: A multimodal biomarkers approach’, is the fourth thesis to be carried out within the framework of the BBRC's research program, and shows that sleep disturbances make the brain more vulnerable to dynamic neurodegeneration related to Alzheimer’s. Throughout her PhD, she has conducted four studies, including one paper that was based on the ALFA + cohort, as well as the cohorts of the EPAD and Harvard Aging Brain Study (HABS).

The objective of her thesis was to study the relationship between sleep alterations and core Alzheimer’s pathology at the preclinical stages of the disease. Additionally, the researcher aimed to explore the potential contributions of sleep disturbances on downstream neurodegeneration consequences reflected by brain structure and function. For this project, Stankeviciute has used fluid and imaging biomarkers of amyloid and tau, self-report and objective measures of sleep. The directors of the thesis have been BBRC researchers Dr. Juan Domingo Gispert, Dr. Oriol Grau Rivera and Dr. Raffaele Cacciaglia.