Background Sleep evaluation is increasingly being used as prognostic tool in patients with disorders of consciousness, but, surprisingly, the role of Period3 (Per3) gene polymorphism has never been evaluated. Objective The aim of this study was to investigate the contribution of Per3 genotype on sleep quantity and consciousness recovery level in patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC). Methods In this observational study, we evaluated 71 patients with DOC classified as vegetative state/unresponsive wakefulness syndrome or minimally conscious state. Demographic and clinical data were collected and a standardised diagnostic workup, including a polysomnographic record, was applied. After informed consent provided by proxy, genomic DNA was obtained and Per3 polymorphism was analysed by polymerase chain reaction to identify 5/5, 4/5, or 4/4 genotype. Results Per3(5/5) genotype was found in 12.7% of our DOC patients. The median total Coma Recovery Scale-revised score in Per3(5/5) carriers was significantly higher than 4/4 genotype (10, range 5-16 vs 7, range 4-11; post hoc P = .036). Moreover, total sleep time seemed to be higher in 5/5 genotype (5/5, 221 minutes, range 88-515 minutes; 4/4, 151.5 minutes, range 36-477 minutes; and 4/5, 188 minutes, range 44-422 minutes). Conclusion For the first time we have shown a possible association between Per3 polymorphism and consciousness recovery level in DOC patients. Even though the exact molecular mechanism has not been defined, we speculate that its effect is mediated by higher total sleep time and slow wave sleep, which would improve the preservation of main cerebral connections.
- Journal Article