Prof. Dr. Eus van Someren

Different subtypes of insomnia

As Head of the Department Sleep and Cognition at the Netherlands institute for Neuroscience and Associate Professor at the VUmc, we are delighted to introduce Prof. Dr. Eus van Someren as speaker for our symposium on the topic Sleep and Cognition.

Large-scale internet assessment and brain imaging reveal different subtypes of insomnia


Insomnia is the most common health complaint and has serious consequences. Our understanding of underlying brain mechanisms is limited. We hypothesized that the lack of robust findings may be due heterogeneity of underlying causes of insomnia. The presentation will illustrate the hypothesis and support found up till now.

First, it will be shown that a data-driven clustering approach to a large database of multivariate psychometric profiles assessed in volunteers of suggests different subtypes of insomnia. Interestingly, subtypes differentiated hardly on sleep constructs. Second, it will be shown that the use of MRI tools in careful selections of homogeneous sets of participants can reveal neural correlates of sound sleep and insomnia severity. Notably, these correlates can be different depending on psychiatric phenotype.

Further reading

  • Altena et al., Biol Psychiatry 2010;67:182; Piantoni et al., J Neurosci 2013;33:227; Stoffers et al., Front Neurol 2012;3:105; Stoffers et al., Brain 2014;137:610; Van Der Werf et al., Biol Psychiatry 2010;68:950