Author Interviews, BMJ, Heart Disease, Sleep Disorders / 10.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Nadine Häusler Department of Medicine, Internal Medicine University Hospital of Lausanne Lausanne, Switzerland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There are controversial results regarding the effect of napping on cardiovascular disease (CVD) exist i.e. some studies report adverse effects of napping whereas other find beneficial effects of napping on CVD. Most studies compare nappers to non-nappers or study nap duration but neglect to take the frequency of napping into account. Moreover, studies measure naps in a different way, study different populations and include different confounders, which makes it hard to compare the results. Thus, we aimed to study the association between CVD and napping as a more holistic behavior i.e. not just the duration but also the frequency of napping.
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Sleep Disorders / 23.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Chenlu Gao, MA Graduate Student Department of Psychology and Neuroscience Baylor University Michael Scullin, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Psychology and Neuroscience Baylor University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: According to the World Alzheimer Report, dementia affects 50 million adults worldwide, and this number is expected to approach 131 million by 2050. Dementia patients often require assistance with daily activities from caregivers. The Alzheimer’s Association reported that, in the United States, 16 million caregivers spend on average 21.9 hours per week providing care for patients with dementia. Being a caregiver is stressful, which not only challenges emotional, cognitive, and physical health, but is also associated with shorter and poorer sleep at night. If a caregiver cannot obtain restorative sleep at night, their quality of life and their abilities to perform the caregiving role can be compromised. For example, sleep loss may jeopardize caregivers’ memory, causing them to forget medications or medical appointments for the patients. Sleep loss can also impair immune functions, causing the caregivers to suffer from illnesses. In the long-term, sleep loss is associated with cortical thinning and accumulation of beta-amyloid and tau, which increase the risks of dementia. Undoubtedly, there is a need to systematically study whether caregivers sleep less or worse during the night and whether we can improve their sleep quality through low-cost behavioral interventions. To answer these questions, we systematically reviewed and meta-analyzed 35 studies with data from 3,268 caregivers of dementia patients.    
Author Interviews, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Sleep Disorders, Tobacco / 12.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50639" align="alignleft" width="150"]Christine Spadola, M.S., LMHC, Ph.D.  Assistant Professor Florida Atlantic University Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work Boca Raton, FL 33431-0991 Dr. Spadola[/caption] Christine Spadola, M.S., LMHC, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Florida Atlantic University Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work Boca Raton, FL 33431-0991 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Short sleep duration and sleep fragmentation are associated with adverse health outcomes including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, certain cancers, and mental health challenges such as depression and anxiety. Avoiding the use of alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine close to bedtime represent modifiable behaviors that can improve sleep. Nonetheless, among community dwelling adults (e.g., adults in their natural bedroom environment as opposed to research laboratories) and specifically African Americans, there is a lack of longitudinal research investigating the use of these substances and the associations with objective measures of sleep..
Author Interviews, Sleep Disorders / 07.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50587" align="alignleft" width="149"]Shahab Haghayegh, Ph.D. Candidate Department of Biomedical Engineering Cockrell School of Engineering University of Texas at Austin Shahab Haghayegh[/caption] Shahab Haghayegh, Ph.D. Candidate Department of Biomedical Engineering Cockrell School of Engineering University of Texas at Austin MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: I'm a sleep researcher and I wanted to find the link between warm bath and sleep. Body temperature which is involved in the regulation of the sleep/wake cycle, exhibits an endogenous circadian cycle, that is a 24-hour pattern, being highest by 2-3°F in the late afternoon/early evening than during sleep when it's lowest. The average person’s circadian cycle is characterized by a reduction in core body temperature by ~ 0.5 to 1° F the hour or so before one’s usual sleep time, dropping to its lowest level between the middle and later span of nighttime sleep. It then begins to rise, acting as a kind of a biological alarm clock wake-up signal. The temperature cycle leads the sleep cycle and is an essential factor in achieving rapid sleep onset and high efficiency sleep.
Author Interviews, Melatonin, Pharmacology, Sleep Disorders / 23.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49912" align="alignleft" width="133"]David C. Brodner, M.D. Founder and Principle Physician The Center for Sinus, Allergy, and Sleep Wellness Double Board-Certified in Otolaryngology (Head and Neck Surgery) and Sleep Medicine Assistant Clinical Professor, Florida Atlantic University College of Medicine Medical Director, Good Samaritan Hospital Sleep Laboratory Senior Medical Advisor, Physician’s Seal, LLC® Dr. Brodner[/caption] David C. Brodner, M.D. Founder and Principle Physician The Center for Sinus, Allergy, and Sleep Wellness Double Board-Certified in Otolaryngology (Head and Neck Surgery) and Sleep Medicine Assistant Clinical Professor Florida Atlantic University College of Medicine Medical Director, Good Samaritan Hospital Sleep Laboratory Senior Medical Advisor, Physician’s Seal, LLC® MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Chronic disorders of sleep and wakefulness affect an estimated 50-70 million adults in the United States. The cumulative long-term effects of sleep loss have been associated with a wide range of damaging health consequences, including obesity, diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, anxiety and depression. In terms of preventing health consequences, sleeping 6-8 hours per night consistently may provide optimal health outcomes. Comprehensive data from two recently completed patient-reported outcomes (PRO) studies provide further evidence of the observed hypnotic effects of REMfresh, demonstrating statistically significant improvements in sleep onset, sleep duration, sleep maintenance and sleep quality. PRO studies of this kind, which more closely address real-world patient experience, are increasingly being recognized by regulatory authorities and academia in evaluating new therapies. In addition to the traditional randomized, placebo-controlled trial studies, regulatory authorities are now incorporating the patient perspective in their decision making, including PRO studies. A PRO study is a measurement based on a report that comes directly from the patient about the status or change in their health condition and without amendment or interpretation of the patient's response by health-care intermediaries. PRO measures can be used to capture a patient's everyday experience outside of the clinician's office, and the effects of a treatment on the patient's activities of daily living. Together, clinical measures and PRO measures can provide a fuller picture of patient benefit. REMfresh, the first and only continuous release and absorption melatonin (CRA-melatonin) formulation, is designed to give patients up to 7 hours of sleep support. It is a clinically studied, drug-free, nonprescription, #1 sleep doctor-recommended melatonin sleep brand.
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Sleep Disorders / 21.06.2019

sleep-alzheimers-dementia-insomniaSleep patterns can predict the increase of Alzheimer’s pathology proteins tau and β-amyloid later in life, according to a June 2019 study published in the Journal of Neuroscience. The findings shed hope on earlier diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and the adoption of preventive measures earlier in life. Researchers found a decrease in sleep spindle synchronization, which is linked to higher tau levels. Reduced amplitude of slow wave activity, meanwhile, is closely related to higher β-amyloid levels. In younger people, both slow oscillations and sleep spindles are synchronized. This changes as people grow older, with less coordination between the two being visible. The researchers also noted that subjects who slept less had a higher chance of having Alzheimer’s proteins when they were older. The findings show that both reduced sleep quantity and quality can serve as important warnings of the onset of Alzheimer’s.
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Sleep Disorders / 16.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49756" align="alignleft" width="128"]Ambra Stefani, MD Sleep Disorders Clinic Department of Neurology Innsbruck Medical University Innsbruck, Austria Dr. Stefani[/caption] Ambra Stefani, MD Sleep Disorders Clinic Department of Neurology Innsbruck Medical University Innsbruck, Austria  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a common neurological disorder, affecting up to 10% of the general population in Europe and North America. It is a sensorimotor disorder characterized by unpleasant sensations and an urge to move, mainly involving the legs. These symptoms appear or worsen in the evening/at night and improve with movement. Background for this study was the idea that there might be gender differences in the phenotypical presentation of RLS, as the pathogenesis of this disease is multifactorial and gender specific factors also play a role.
Author Interviews, Opiods, Pain Research, Sleep Disorders / 05.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49610" align="alignleft" width="133"]Dr-Nicole Tang Dr. Tang[/caption] Nicole Tang, D.Phil, C.Psychol (Reader) Department of Psychology Warwick Sleep and Pain Lab University of Warwick MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Current guidelines recommend non-opioid therapy as the preferred treatment of chronic non-malignant (CNP) pain, with opioids reserved to situations “when benefits for pain and function are expected to outweigh risks” [1,10]. Whilst the effectiveness of opioid therapy is usually measured in terms of pain outcomes, less is known about its effect on day-to-day functions. A particular function of concern to patients with chronic non-malignant pain is the ability to get a good night's sleep. The current systematic review has identified a set of papers with relevant outcomes regarding the effect of opioid therapy on sleep quality and sleep architecture in CNP patients. It extends our understanding from the drug's respiratory depression effect in healthy individuals to the potential risks and utility of opioid therapy for chronic non-malignant pain patients with sleep disturbances. Whilst the narrative synthesis and the exploratory meta-analysis of a subset of data both suggest that the use of opioid therapy is associated with an overall report of sleep quality improvement, such an improvement is not consistently replicated across studies or substantiated by improvements in sleep parameters linked to deeper and better-sleep quality. Moreover, the improvement may be accompanied by undesirable side effects and increased daytime sleepiness that contradict with the very idea of improved sleep quality. We are also painfully aware of the methodological limitations of the studies reviewed; their exposure to different sources of biases has heightened the risk of result inflation. To many patients with chronic non-malignant pain, improved sleep is a top priority when evaluating the performance of a new drug and non-drug intervention. If we were to advance our current understanding of the opioid-sleep relationship, future trials need to be designed with this interdisciplinary question in mind such that validated measures of sleep can be incorporated as an outcome measure alongside pain.
Author Interviews, Dermatology, JAMA, Pediatrics, Sleep Disorders, UCSF / 26.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48079" align="alignleft" width="135"]Dr. Katrina Abuabara Dr. Abuabara[/caption] Dr. Katrina Abuabara, MD, MA, MSCE Department of Dermatology Program for Clinical Research, University of California, San Francisco MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The wellbeing and development of children is strongly influenced by parents’ physical and psychosocial health. Parents of children with chronic illness, in particular, are susceptible to poor sleep, and previous studies have found major sleep impairments among parents of children with ventilator dependency and cystic fibrosis, but few studies have examined sleep patterns among parents of children with more common chronic illnesses like atopic dermatitis (also known as eczema).
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Heart Disease, Sleep Disorders / 07.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_47830" align="alignleft" width="200"]Dr Manolis S Kallistratos MD, PhD, FESC,EHSAsklepeion General HospitalGreece Dr. Kallistratos[/caption] Dr Manolis S Kallistratos MD, PhD, FESC,EHS Asklepeion General Hospital Greece  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Lifestyle changes represent the cornerstone of treatment of arterial hypertension. Alcohol and salt reduction may decrease blood pressure levels by 2 to 8 mmHg. In our study 60 minutes of midday sleep decrease 24 hours systolic blood pressure levels by up to 3 mmHg in well controlled hypertensives. That is an effect as potent as other well-established life style changes. The magnitude of blood pressure decrease might seem small, but a drop in blood pressure as small as 2 mmHg can reduce the risk of cardiovascular events by up to 10 percent. 
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Sleep Disorders / 01.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_47714" align="alignleft" width="200"]"Baby K - Mother's Kiss" by D.Clow - Maryland is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0 "Baby K - Mother's Kiss" by D.Clow[/caption] Dr. Sakari Lemola Associate Professor Department of Psychology University of Warwick Coventry, UK  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Sufficient sleep of good quality is important for physical and mental health. Therefore, we are studying factors in people’s lives that may affect their sleep. In the present study we examined in particular how the birth of a child affects parents’ sleep. In detail, we used data on sleep of more than 4,600 parents in Germany who had a child between 2008 and 2015. During these years parents reported on their sleep in yearly interviews. We found that the birth of a child had quite drastic short-term effects on new mothers’ sleep, particularly during the first three months after birth. This is not a new finding; previous studies reported similar effects. What is new in the current study is that we compared sleep before pregnancy with sleep until up to 6 years after birth. We were surprised to see that sleep duration and sleep satisfaction were still decreased up to six years after birth. Six years after birth mothers and father still slept around 15-20 minutes less.
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, Sleep Disorders / 16.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_47525" align="alignleft" width="225"]Cameron S. McAlpine, Ph.D. Banting Postdoctoral Fellow Center for Systems Biology Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical School Boston, MA, 02114 Dr. McAlpine[/caption] Cameron S. McAlpine, Ph.D. Banting Postdoctoral Fellow Center for Systems Biology Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical School Boston, MA, 02114 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Cardiovascular disease is caused by the build up of white blood cells and fat in arteries. We have known for a long time that poor sleep is associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. A number of human observational studies have found this correlation. However, the reasons for this correlation have been largely unknown. Our study, performed in mice, provides one possible explanation. We found that when we disturbed the sleep of mice they produced more inflammatory white blood cells. These cells caused larger lesions in their arteries and more advanced cardiovascular disease. We found that his phenomenon is controlled by a hormone produced in the brain that normally suppresses the production of white blood cells. When mice have their sleep disturbed this pathway breakdown causing the increased production of white blood cells.
Author Interviews, Memory, Sleep Disorders / 11.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_47391" align="alignleft" width="151"]Marc Züst, PhD University of Bern Department of Psychology Division of Experimental Psychology and Neuropsychology Switzerland Dr. Züst[/caption] Marc Züst, PhD University of Bern Department of Psychology Division of Experimental Psychology and Neuropsychology Switzerland  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Slow wave sleep (deep sleep) is known to be very important for memory reorganization. The brain goes through the memory traces that were created during wakefulness and strengthens the important ones, while unimportant ones are weakened or deleted to make room for new learning the next day. This happens during the peaks of the eponymous slow waves, also called up-states, where the brain is highly active and interconnected. Up-states last for about 0.5 sec before transitioning into down-states, where the brain is relatively silent. Based on these findings, we hypothesized that up-states constitute windows of opportunity to learn new information during slow wave sleep: The "channels are open", and the brain is already performing memory functions. The results of our study support this hypothesis. We found that, if we repeatedly managed to synchronize presentation of word pairs with up-states, memory for these pairs was best. Moreover, we find a dose-response function: The more often word pairs hit up-states, the better the memory. On top of that, fMRI during the retrieval test suggests that the same brain regions are involved in sleep learning as are involved in learning during wakefulness.
Author Interviews, Memory, Sleep Disorders / 25.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "Tonight, I am grateful for an old rocking chair that had the power to quell my crying baby after hours of fussing. It has rocked several generations on my dad's side and I like to think its legacy of comfort can be magical from time to time. #aboynamedfox" by mandaloo is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0Mme Aurore Perrault, PhD Student Department of Neuroscience, Faculty of Medicine University of Geneva Geneva, Switzerland  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: We naturally rock babies to sleep. Yet, we also have plenty of anecdotal reports of adults falling asleep faster when in a train or a car, as well as a feeling of relaxation in a hammock. Our companion paper on mice (Kompotis et a., 2019 – same issue in Current Biology) clearly established that the beneficial effects of rocking on sleep relied on the activation of the vestibular system and might thus suggest some shared neurophysiological mechanisms in mammals.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC, Sleep Disorders / 14.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46941" align="alignleft" width="133"]José M. Ordovás, PhD Director Nutrition and Genomics Professor Nutrition and Genetics            JM-USDA-HNRCA at Tufts University Boston, MA 02111 Dr. Ordovás[/caption] José M. Ordovás, PhD Director Nutrition and Genomics Professor Nutrition and Genetics JM-USDA-HNRCA at Tufts University Boston, MA 02111 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The current knowledge supports the notion that poor sleep is associated with cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. Besides, there is some proof that poor sleep might be related to the development of atherosclerosis; however, this evidence has been provided by studies including few participants and, in general, with sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea. Our research has used state-of-the-art imaging technology to measure plaque buildup in the arteries, and objective measures of sleep quantity and quality in about 4000 participants of the PESA CNIC- Santander Study. Moreover, this is the first study to look at the multiterritory development of plaques versus other studies that looked exclusively at the coronary arteries. Therefore, this combination provides stronger evidence than previous studies about the risk of poor sleep on the development of atherosclerosis.
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Science, Sleep Disorders / 13.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46932" align="alignleft" width="137"]Brendan P. Lucey, MD, MSCI Assistant Professor of Neurology Director, Sleep Medicine Section Washington University School of Medicine Saint Louis, Missouri 63110 Dr. Lucey[/caption] Brendan P. Lucey, MD, MSCI Assistant Professor of Neurology Director, Sleep Medicine Section Washington University School of Medicine Saint Louis, Missouri 63110 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Alzheimer’s disease and sleep are currently thought to have a two-way or bidirectional relationship. First, sleep disturbances may increase the risk of developing AD. Second, changes in sleep-wake activity may be due to Alzheimer’s disease pathology and our paper was primarily focused on this aspect of the relationship.    If sleep changes were a marker for AD changes in the brain, then this would be very helpful in future clinical trials and possibly screening in the clinic.
Author Interviews, Sleep Disorders / 14.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46580" align="alignleft" width="133"]Brandon Hauer, Neuroscience PhD Student Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute Brandon Hauer[/caption] Brandon Hauer, Neuroscience PhD Student Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute Clayton Dickson, Professor Departments of Psychology, Physiology, and the Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Our lab is interested in the dynamics of sleep and sleep-like rhythms in the forebrain. One particular interest relates to how the brain can spontaneously switch between very different states like rapid eye movement sleep (REM, or dreaming sleep) and slow-wave sleep (deep, restorative stage of sleep). We noticed that administering 100% oxygen to rats in an anesthetized preparation that closely models natural sleep produced an immediate and lasting switch into a slow-wave brain state. This happened as well in naturally sleeping rats. Interestingly, increasing carbon dioxide concentrations or decreasing oxygen in inspired air produced the opposite effect, namely a switch into activated or REM-like states. 
Author Interviews, Education, Sleep Disorders / 04.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46377" align="alignleft" width="200"]Michael K. Scullin, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience Director, Sleep Neuroscience and Cognition Laboratory Baylor University Waco, TX 76798  Dr. Scullin[/caption] Michael K. Scullin, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience Director, Sleep Neuroscience and Cognition Laboratory Baylor University Waco, TX 76798  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: There is a gap between what health behaviors individuals know they should adopt, and what those individuals actually end up doing. For example, a growing literature shows that simply educating students on the importance of sleep does not change their sleep behaviors. Thus, we need to think outside of the box for solutions. In three classes, we have now investigated a motivational solution: if students can earn extra credit on their final exam for sleeping better, will they do so even during finals week?
Author Interviews, Menopause, Sleep Disorders / 15.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45992" align="alignleft" width="142"]Sooyeon Suh, PhD Department of Psychology Sungshin University Seoul, Republic of Korea Dr. Suh[/caption] Sooyeon Suh, PhD Department of Psychology Sungshin University Seoul, Republic of Korea MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Women who are going through menopause frequently complain of sleep complaints and depressive symptoms in addition to other typical symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats. Two of the most common ways of becoming menopausal are through natural menopause and surgical menopause. While natural menopause is usually experienced in the course of aging, surgical menopause is usually induced by OBGYN surgery such as bilateral oopherectomy, often as a result of illnesses such as ovarian cancer. Many studies have found that women who experience surgical menopause often experience more psychological and physical difficulties compared to women who transition through menopause naturally due to a more acute drop in estrogen following surgery, it sometimes leads to the need for practices like Advanced Gynecology to help manage the symptoms. Unfortunately, in clinical settings, women who undergo surgical menopause are not provided with additional psychoeducation or customized treatment to address these issues. The main findings of these studies support these issues. In 526 postmenopausal women, women who went through surgical menopause reported significantly worse sleep quality an shorter sleep duration. Additionally, they had a 2.13 times higher likelihood of having insomnia that warranted treatment. Finally, even though women who went through surgical menopause engaged in the same sleep-interfering behaviors (e.g., drinking caffeine, drinking alcohol before bed, watching TV in bed, etc) as women who went through menopause naturally, their sleep was impacted more negatively.
Author Interviews, Obstructive Sleep Apnea / 22.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "Snoring away" by Doug Ford is licensed under CC BY 2.0Matthew P Butler, PhD Assistant Professor, Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences Assistant Professor, Department of Behavioral Neuroscience Oregon Health & Science University Portland, OR 97239 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is associated with heart disease and mortality, but how OSA does this is not well understood. We are therefore looking for sub-phenotypes within OSA that will help us predict who is at greatest risk. Current diagnosis of OSA is made on the basis of the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI – the number of respiratory events per hour of sleep). But the AHI is not a very good predictor of future mortality. We tested the hypothesis that the duration of events (how long the breathing interruptions are) would predict risk. We found that those with the shortest breathing interruptions had the highest risk of dying, after accounting for other conditions like age, gender, race, and smoking status. 
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Pediatrics / 01.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44926" align="alignleft" width="180"]Matthew D. Weaver, PhD Instructor in Medicine · Harvard Medical School Associate Epidemiologist · Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston, MA 02215 Dr. Weaver[/caption] Matthew D. Weaver, PhD Instructor in Medicine · Harvard Medical School Associate Epidemiologist · Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston, MA 02215 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We were interested whether high school students who tended to sleep less than 8 hours per night reported more risk-taking behaviors compared to high school students who slept at least 8 hours per night on a school night. We utilized a nationally representative dataset from the CDC of surveys that were completed by high school students between 2007 and 2015. Over that time, approximately 67,000 students were surveyed. Students were asked about the hours of sleep that they obtained on an average school night. They were also asked how often, in the month prior to the survey, they engaged in a number of risk-taking behaviors. Some behaviors were related to driving, like driving without a seatbelt or driving drunk, while others were related to using alcohol, doing drugs, or being involved in a fight. They were also asked about their mood, including whether they felt sad or hopeless, considered suicide, and whether they had attempted suicide. 
Author Interviews, Kidney Disease, Neurology, Sleep Disorders / 01.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44254" align="alignleft" width="80"]Rachel Marie E. Salas, MD, MEHP, FAAN Associate Professor, Neurology and Nursing at Johns Hopkins Medicine Director, Interprofessional Education and Interprofessional Collaborative Practice Director, Neurology Clerkship Director, PreDoc Program Meyer/Neuro Sleep Baltimore, MD Dr Salas[/caption] Rachel Marie E. Salas, MD, MEHP, FAAN Associate Professor, Neurology and Nursing at Johns Hopkins Medicine Director, Interprofessional Education and Interprofessional Collaborative Practice Director, Neurology Clerkship Director, PreDoc Program Meyer/Neuro Sleep Baltimore, MD MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Can you briefly describe what is meant by RLS  and who suffers from it? Response: Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a common neurological disorder characterized by an irritating, overwhelming urge to move (akathisia) the legs while at rest or sleep (conditions of diminished arousal), which almost immediately abates with mental or physical activity (conditions of maintained arousal). One of the most clinically-profound and scientifically relevant consequences of this disease process is an increased arousal state producing significant wake during sleep times and a relative sustainable degree of daytime alertness despite the degree of diseased-imposed sleep loss. The focus of most previous RLS research has been on the (limb) akathisia with associated periodic movements and reduction of these with dopaminergic treatment. Little research has been done to understand the broader biological dimensions​ of RLS. Patients with RLS have altered sleep-wake homeostasis with increased arousal and wakefulness (hyperarousal) not only driving the signature clinical symptoms (“the urge to move” and sleep loss) but also supporting arousal over sleep drive at night and in the day. We hypothesize that there is a basic glutamate-hyperarousal process producing both disrupted sleep (increased wake time) and cortical excitability (as demonstrated by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)).​ 
Author Interviews, Memory, Pediatrics, Sleep Disorders / 22.08.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44069" align="alignleft" width="200"]Dr. Rebecca Spencer PhD Associate Professor Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences University of Massachusetts Dr. Rebecca Spencer[/caption] Dr. Rebecca Spencer PhD Associate Professor Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences University of Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We know that in young adults, sleep contributes to emotion processing. We wondered if naps work similarly for preschool children.  To look at this, we had children learn an emotional memory task and then either take a nap or stay awake.  We then tested their memory after that interval and again the next day. We found that when children napped, they had better memory for those items the next day than if they did not nap.  That the naps seem to support memory (even if in a delayed fashion) seems consistent with the observation of parents and preschool teachers that children are often emotionally dysregulated if they do not nap.
Author Interviews, NYU, Sexual Health, Sleep Disorders / 11.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_43100" align="alignleft" width="165"]Dustin T. Duncan, ScD Associate Professor Director, NYU Spatial Epidemiology Lab Department of Population Health NYU School of Medicine NYU Langone Health Dr. Duncan[/caption] Dustin T. DuncanScD Associate Professor Director, NYU Spatial Epidemiology Lab Department of Population Health NYU School of Medicine NYU Langone Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Sleep and sleep hygiene have emerged as one of the major determinants of health and wellbeing (alongside good diet, regular exercise, and not smoking). However, a small number of studies have used population-representative samples to examine sexual orientation disparities in sleep. Our study aimed to fill this gap in knowledge.
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Sleep Disorders / 07.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Woman sleeping” by Timothy Krause is licensed under CC BY 2.0Nathan E. Cross PhD, first author School of Psychology. Sharon L. Naismith, PhD, senior author Leonard P Ullman Chair in Psychology Brain and Mind Centre Neurosleep, NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence The University of Sydney, Australia  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Between 30 to 50% of the risk for dementia is due to modifiable risk factors such depression, hypertension, physical inactivity, obesity, diabetes and smoking. In recent years, multiple longitudinal cohort studies have observed a link between sleep apnoea and a greater risk (1.85 to 2.6 times more likely) of developing cognitive decline and dementia.  Furthermore, one study in over 8000 people also indicated that the presence of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) in older adults was associated with an earlier age of cognitive decline, and that treatment of OSA may delay the onset of cognitive impairment. This study reveals important insights into how sleep disorders such as OSA may impact the brain in older adults, as it is associated with widespread structural alterations in diverse brain regions. We found that reduced blood oxygen levels during sleep are related to reduced thickness of the brain's cortex in both the left and right temporal areas - regions that are important in memory and are early sites of injury in Alzheimer's disease. Indeed, reduced thickness in these regions was associated with poorer ability to learn new information, thereby being the first to link this structural change to memory decline.
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Sleep Disorders / 07.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Driving...” by Stig Nygaard is licensed under CC BY 2.0Prof. Stephen R Robinson PhD Discipline Leader, Psychology School of Health and Biomedical Sciences RMIT University Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Around the world, driver drowsiness and fatigue are estimated to contribute to 250,000 deaths on the road per year. Current research in this area has focused on detecting when drivers become drowsy, by examining their eye movements or steering patterns, and then alerting the driver with a warning tone or vibration of the steering wheel. Rather than this reactive approach, we are interested in helping to prevent drivers from becoming drowsy in the first place.
Author Interviews, Melatonin, Sleep Disorders / 15.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David C. Brodner, M.D. Founder and Principle Physician, The Center for Sinus, Allergy, and Sleep Wellness Double Board-Certified in Otolaryngology (Head and Neck Surgery) and Sleep Medicine Assistant Clinical Professor, Florida Atlantic University College of Medicine Medical Director, Good Samaritan Hospital Sleep Laboratory Senior Medical Advisor, Physician’s Seal, LLC® MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland in the brain and is the body’s natural sleep ingredient. Melatonin levels normally begin to rise in the mid-to late evening and remain high for the majority of the night. Levels begin to decline towards early morning, as the body’s wake cycle is triggered. Research shows that as people age, melatonin levels can drop by as much as 70 percent and their bodies may no longer produce enough melatonin to ensure adequate sleep. Other available products, such as immediate-release melatonin, help initiate the onset of sleep but are usually unable to sustain prolonged sleep maintenance due to an immediate burst of melatonin, which is quickly degraded due to its relatively short half-life (60 minutes). Absorption in the lower digestive tract is limited by melatonin’s limited ability to be absorbed in a low acidity or neutral pH environment. This post-marketing REMfresh® Patient Reported Outcomes DURation (REMDUR) study was designed to obtain real-world evidence about patients’ sleep patterns, duration of sleep before and after REMfresh® (CRA-melatonin), daily REMfresh® (CRA-melatonin) use, onset of action, sleep maintenance, quality of sleep, and overall satisfaction with REMfresh® (CRA-melatonin). Patients with sleep disturbances in the general population who received a sample of CRA-melatonin (REMfresh®) from their physicians were invited to complete a 12-question survey. Survey responses were received from 500 patients.
Abuse and Neglect, Allergies, Education, Pediatrics, Sleep Disorders / 30.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_42070" align="alignleft" width="200"]Michael S. Blaiss, MD, FACAAI Executive Medical Director American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Arlington Heights, IL 60005 Dr. Blaiss[/caption] Michael S. Blaiss, MD, FACAAI Executive Medical Director American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Arlington Heights, IL 60005 MedicalResearch.com: Is this research important? Why or why not? Response: There has not been a comprehensive review of how allergic rhinitis impacts the adolescent population. Most studies put adolescents in with children and yet we know that how disease affects adolescents may be dramatically different than children. Adolescents is a difficult enough time with a chronic condition MedicalResearch.com: What is the key take-home message? Response: The symptoms associated with nasal and eye allergies can be different in adolescents compared with adults and children and lead to poor quality of life and impair learning in school. Adolescents with AR/ARC may experience difficulties falling asleep, night waking, and snoring, and generally have poorer sleep. Therefore health care providers need to aggressively control the adolescent’s allergic rhinitis. 
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, NIH, PNAS, Sleep Disorders / 19.04.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_41271" align="alignleft" width="150"]Nora D. Volkow MD Senior Investigator Laboratory of Neuroimaging, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892 Dr. Nora Volkow[/caption] Nora D. Volkow MD Senior Investigator Laboratory of Neuroimaging, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Findings from animal studies had shown that sleep deprivation increased the content of beta-amyloid in brain, which is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.  We wanted to test whether this also happened in the human brain after one night of sleep deprivation. We found that indeed one night of sleep deprivation led to an accumulation of beta amyloid in the human brain, which suggest that one of the reasons why we sleep is to help clean our brain of degradation products that if not removed are toxic to brain cells. 
Author Interviews, Sleep Disorders / 12.04.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Sleep” by Spencer Smith is licensed under CC BY 2.0Kristen L. Knutson, PhD Associate Professor Center for Circadian and Sleep Medicine Department of Neurology Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Chicago, IL  60611​ MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Previous research has shown that “night owls” (people who prefer the evening) have higher rates of diseases such as diabetes or high blood pressure.  We wanted to determine whether mortality risk was also higher in night owls. We used data from the UK Biobank of almost a half million people who were asked whether they were morning or evening types. We found that the night owls had a 10% increased risk of dying over a 6 ½ year period compared to the morning types, even after taking into account existing health problems.