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Approved Research

The relationships between genetics, sleep and sex hormones on the progression of age-related neurodegeneration.

Principal Investigator: Dr Nicola Ray
Approved Research ID: 88821
Approval date: August 25th 2022

Lay summary

The role of sleep in the maintenance of brain health, and progression of neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's is not fully understood. We propose to measure the genetic factors that contribute to altered sleep patterns, and to determine the impact this genetic variation and altered sleep has on brain structural health. We will also look to determine whether these genetic and sleep patterns contribute to the risk for development of cognitive changes and diagnosis of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.  

Separately, there are well recognised changes to sleep during hormonal changes that occur later in life. We also know that the risk for development of neurodegenerative conditions may change as a result of these hormonal changes. However, there is very little understanding of the role that altered sleep plays in the development of this risk.

We will therefore determine the role of genetics in altered sleep patterns and subsequent neurodegeneration, and whether hormonal changes modify these relationships.  More specifically, we will determine how genetics, sleep and hormones affect cognitive health and the brain as people age, and how these factors interact.