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 #
5R01AG034588-05
Application #
8522105
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
2013-09-01
Budget End
2014-08-31
Support Year
5
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$352,083
Indirect Cost
$123,458
Name
University of California Los Angeles
Department
None
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
092530369
City
Los Angeles
State
CA
Country
United States
Zip Code
90095
Irwin, Michael R; Witarama, Tuff; Caudill, Marissa et al. (2015) Sleep loss activates cellular inflammation and signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) family proteins in humans. Brain Behav Immun 47:86-92
Slavich, George M; Irwin, Michael R (2014) From stress to inflammation and major depressive disorder: a social signal transduction theory of depression. Psychol Bull 140:774-815
Black, David S; Irwin, Michael R; Olmstead, Richard et al. (2014) Tai chi meditation effects on nuclear factor-?B signaling in lonely older adults: a randomized controlled trial. Psychother Psychosom 83:315-7
Nicassio, Perry M; Ormseth, Sarah R; Custodio, Mara K et al. (2014) Confirmatory factor analysis of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index in rheumatoid arthritis patients. Behav Sleep Med 12:1-12
Morgan, Nani; Irwin, Michael R; Chung, Mei et al. (2014) The effects of mind-body therapies on the immune system: meta-analysis. PLoS One 9:e100903
Ganz, Patricia A; Petersen, Laura; Castellon, Steven A et al. (2014) Cognitive function after the initiation of adjuvant endocrine therapy in early-stage breast cancer: an observational cohort study. J Clin Oncol 32:3559-67
Black, David S; O'Reilly, Gillian A; Olmstead, Richard et al. (2014) Mindfulness-based intervention for prodromal sleep disturbances in older adults: design and methodology of a randomized controlled trial. Contemp Clin Trials 39:22-7
Hoyt, Michael A; Marin-Chollom, Amanda M; Bower, Julienne E et al. (2014) Approach and avoidance coping: diurnal cortisol rhythm in prostate cancer survivors. Psychoneuroendocrinology 49:182-6
Irwin, Michael R; Levin, Myron J; Laudenslager, Mark L et al. (2013) Varicella zoster virus-specific immune responses to a herpes zoster vaccine in elderly recipients with major depression and the impact of antidepressant medications. Clin Infect Dis 56:1085-93
Cho, H J; Kivimaki, M; Bower, J E et al. (2013) Association of C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 with new-onset fatigue in the Whitehall II prospective cohort study. Psychol Med 43:1773-83

Showing the most recent 10 out of 23 publications