Edinburgh Imaging

27 Aug 18. Sleep Apnea study

We are halfway through The Brain Changes in Sleep Apnea Study.

Sleep Apnoea team photo
The team

The Brain Changes in Sleep Apnea study is a collaboration between The University of Edinburgh and Professor Sandra Black’s team at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto. Part of the Fondation Leducq Transatlantic Network of Excellence led by Professor Joanna Wardlaw (Europe) and Professor Berislav Zlokovic (North America), this study aims to examine cerebral small vessel disease in adults with moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnoea.

What is sleep apnoea?

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a disorder characterised by repeated cycles of airway collapse and cessation of breathing during sleep, resulting in symptoms including daytime sleepiness. It is very common, affecting up to 3-17% of the adult population, and is easily and effectively treated using a mechanical therapy called continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). As well as established links between untreated OSA and cardiovascular dysfunction, there is a growing body of evidence that OSA may contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

The study

This observational study will recruit a total of 80 participants across both sites. MRI and retinal imaging will be undertaken to assess changes in the cerebral blood vessels before and after a minimum of 4 months of CPAP treatment, and related to sleep diagnostic measures and cognitive function assessments. Recruitment of patients from the Department of Sleep Medicine, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh is well underway with 19 participants booked. Recruitment will commence in Toronto in due course.


For more information, please contact Dr Lizzie Hill, Sleep Research Fellow (lizzie.hill@ed.ac.uk), or visit www.small-vessel-disease.org .