Older adults who are socially isolated have increased risk of all-cause mortality, and several specific infectious, neoplastic, and cardiovascular diseases. However, the neurobiologic and genomic mechanisms of these effects remain largely unexplored. Our preliminary studies have found that subjective social isolation is associated with sleep disturbance as well as increases in markers of inflammation. The over-arching objective of this study is to evaluate subjective social isolation in older adults and the consequences of such social isolation for the homeostatic regulation of sleep and inflammatory biology dynamics. Given our findings that cellular and genomic activation of inflammatory markers occurs along with subjective social isolation as well as sleep disturbance, this study will test the consequences of naturalistic and experimental sleep loss on feelings of social connection and cellular and genomic markers of inflammation in socially isolated vs. socially integrated older adults. The study aims are: 1) to determine the nature and severity of disordered sleep in socially isolated older adults;2) to evaluate cellular and genomic markers of inflammation in socially isolated older adults;and 3) to examine the contribution of sleep loss and recovery sleep to behavioral symptoms and cellular and genomic markers of inflammation in socially isolated older adults. Understanding the consequences of social isolation for the homeostatic regulation of sleep within the framework of an observational and experimental research design has implications for identifying the psychobiological pathways that might drive the link between social isolation and health. Given that sleep loss induces elevations in proinflammatory cytokine activity, dysregulation of the bi-directional relationship between sleep and cytokines may result in a feed-forward loop in which disrupted sleep and elevated proinflammatory cytokines create a vicious cycle exacerbating sleep and contributing to feelings of social disconnection. Results of this study have immediate clinical implications for the development of interventions that target disordered sleep with potential effects on morbidity and outcomes in subjectively socially isolated older adults.

Public Health Relevance

Social isolation has significant health consequences in older adults, but it is not known how feelings of loneliness and loss of emotional connections lead to increases in disease risk. Given our evidence that social isolation is associated with sleep disturbance, and such sleep difficulties increase inflammation with consequences for a number of medical disorders including cardiovascular disorder, diabetes mellitus, and cancer, this study will examine the relationships between social isolation, sleep disturbance and inflammation in socially isolated older adults. This study will inform the development of potential treatments that target disordered sleep with possible prevention of disease outcomes in older adults who are socially isolated.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01AG034588-04
Application #
8316190
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZAG1-ZIJ-1 (M1))
Program Officer
Mackiewicz, Miroslaw
Project Start
2009-09-15
Project End
2014-08-31
Budget Start
2012-09-01
Budget End
2013-08-31
Support Year
4
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$391,180
Indirect Cost
$137,167
Name
University of California Los Angeles
Department
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
092530369
City
Los Angeles
State
CA
Country
United States
Zip Code
90095
Irwin, Michael R; Bjurstrom, Martin F; Olmstead, Richard (2016) Polysomnographic measures of sleep in cocaine dependence and alcohol dependence: Implications for age-related loss of slow wave, stage 3 sleep. Addiction 111:1084-92
Muscatell, Keely A; Moieni, Mona; Inagaki, Tristen K et al. (2016) Exposure to an inflammatory challenge enhances neural sensitivity to negative and positive social feedback. Brain Behav Immun 57:21-9
Bower, Julienne E; Irwin, Michael R (2016) Mind-body therapies and control of inflammatory biology: A descriptive review. Brain Behav Immun 51:1-11
Cho, H J; Eisenberger, N I; Olmstead, R et al. (2016) Preexisting mild sleep disturbance as a vulnerability factor for inflammation-induced depressed mood: a human experimental study. Transl Psychiatry 6:e750
Carroll, Judith E; Cole, Steven W; Seeman, Teresa E et al. (2016) Partial sleep deprivation activates the DNA damage response (DDR) and the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) in aged adult humans. Brain Behav Immun 51:223-9
Bjurstrom, Martin F; Irwin, Michael R (2016) Polysomnographic characteristics in nonmalignant chronic pain populations: A review of controlled studies. Sleep Med Rev 26:74-86
Irwin, Michael R; Olmstead, Richard; Carroll, Judith E (2016) Sleep Disturbance, Sleep Duration, and Inflammation: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Cohort Studies and Experimental Sleep Deprivation. Biol Psychiatry 80:40-52
Carroll, Judith E; Esquivel, Stephanie; Goldberg, Alyssa et al. (2016) Insomnia and Telomere Length in Older Adults. Sleep 39:559-64
Carroll, Judith E; Carrillo, Carmen; Olmstead, Richard et al. (2015) Sleep deprivation and divergent toll-like receptor-4 activation of cellular inflammation in aging. Sleep 38:205-11
Inagaki, Tristen K; Irwin, Michael R; Eisenberger, Naomi I (2015) Blocking opioids attenuates physical warmth-induced feelings of social connection. Emotion 15:494-500

Showing the most recent 10 out of 64 publications