Read current and past publications from members of our team!


Interested in how the Sleepy Brain Lab is funded? Click to view a full summary from over the years.

Active Studies

Postoperative Delirium and Electroencephalographic Measures of Sleep and Wakefulness (P-DROWS-E) 

R01 grant 

Major Goals: Our proposal is designed to probe temporal relationships between delirium and well-characterized EEG signatures that predict cognitive dysfunction. Future preoperative stratification for delirium vulnerability could inform patients and their families regarding the likelihood of potential cognitive trajectories after elective procedures. 

Adjunctive Nitrous Oxide for Acute Suicidal Ideation in Unipolar Depressed Hospitalized Patients 

Major Goals: Double-blind, randomized, prospective inpatient trial comparing inhaled nitrous oxide (N2O) vs. placebo paired with treatment as usual in acutely suicidal patients. 

Slow Wave Induction by Propofol to Eliminate Depression (SWIPED) Trial 

U01 Grant 

Major Goals: Treatment resistant depression (TRD) in older adults is a leading cause of disability, dementia, and poor quality of life. Disrupted slow wave sleep is at the nexus of depression and cognitive dysfunction in older adults, but novel treatments have not targeted this core pathophysiology. These combined Phase 1 and Phase 2 mechanistic clinical trials will investigate whether propofol confers slow wave sleep enhancement, resulting in longer-term improvements to sleep structure, cognitive function, and mood. 

In collaboration with Dr. Eric Lenze. 

Disruptions of Brain Networks and Sleep by Electroconvulsive Therapy (DNS-ECT)

K01 Grant – Kafashan

Major Goals: The goal of the DNS-ECT study is to assess the impact of ECT on sleep-wake regulation and efficiency of information transfer in functional networks in different states of arousal. A thorough understanding of the underlying circuit mechanisms by which ECT works will allow enhancement of its utility through improvement of clinical outcomes and reduction of cognitive impairments following this critical treatment.

In collaboration with Dr. Nuri Farber


Major Goals: To prospectively and longitudinally collect a set of comprehensive, evidence-based variables and biospecimens from older adults undergoing elective cardiac surgery at Barnes Jewish Hospital in order to build the discovery framework for elucidating the molecular pathophysiology of postoperative delirium in older adults.

Sleep and Cognition Markers for Early Prediction of Antidepressant Response to Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (SLEEP-TMS)

2024 WU ICTS Grant – Kafashan

Major Goals: to evaluate the feasibility of recruiting participants for acquiring longitudinal sleep EEG data as well as collecting clinical and cognitive outcomes throughout the full index course of repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) for Treatment-Resistant Depression (TRD).

Recently Completed Studies

Closed Loop Acoustic Stimulation during Sedation with Dexmedetomidine (CLASS-D) 

Major Goals:  This investigation is aimed at determining whether EEG slow waves can be potentiated through CLAS during dexmedetomidine sedation. Furthermore, we will assess whether the intervention of dexmedetomidine and CLAS is associated with quantitative EEG metrics that suggest fulfillment of homeostatic needs. Finally, we will assess whether dexmedetomidine-induced EEG slow waves localize to similar brain structures in the presence and absence of CLAS. 

Slow Wave Induction by Propofol to Eliminate Depression (SWIPED) Trial: A Pilot Study 

R03 grant 

Major Goals: Late life treatment-resistant depression (LL-TRD) in older adults is a leading cause of disability, excess mortality from suicide, and dementia. Our mechanistic project, Slow Wave Induction by Propofol to Eliminate Depression (SWIPED) Trial: A Pilot Study, is designed to evaluate the safety and feasibility of serial propofol infusions to promote slow wave sleep in older adults with depression. 

Sleep microstructure during electroconvulsive therapy: Synaptic plasticity in pathologic circuits? 

McDonnell Grant – Kafashan 

Major Goals: Our primary goals are to characterize relationships between sleep SWA pre- and post-ECT. Additionally, we hope to assess the effect of ECT on sleep spindle density as well as to quantify the effect of ECT-induced central-positive complexes (CPCs) on sleep spindles and SWA.