Molecular Genetics of Sleep Disorders


Common sleep disorders include narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome, obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, circadian sleep disorders and parasomnias. They are influenced by genes and several research groups to attempt to identify susceptibility genes of sleep disorders through the sequential analysis of genetic linkage and association. Strong evidence has now emerged for the presence of genes influencing sleep disorders at several chromosomal loci and for at least one of these, there is evidence implicating specific genes. This review highlights the genetic contribution to sleep disorders and current molecular genetic researches aimed at identifying susceptibility genes for sleep disorders.

Key Concepts:

  • Sleep disorders result in sleep deprivation and interfere with work, driving and social activities. Management of sleep disturbances is important to inhibit secondary to mental, medical, or substance abuse disorders.

  • Genetic factors are important in sleep disorders.

  • The association and linkage studies of sleep disorders identify genetic causes of heritable sleep disorder.

  • Molecular genetic researches should be aimed to identify susceptibility genes for sleep disorders.

  • Molecular advances in narcolepsy (NRCLP), restless legs syndrome (RLS), obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS), circadian sleep disorders (CSD) and parasomnias will help to set the research agendas for future studies to follow.

  • Geneā€mapping studies may help us to understand the biological basis of normal sleep variation, in addition to sleep disorders.

Keywords: sleep; sleep disorders; association; linkage; candidate


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Further Reading

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Caylak, Emrah(Jun 2011) Molecular Genetics of Sleep Disorders. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0022434]