(Los Angeles, CA – April 24, 2014) UCLA researchers seek patients (ages 21-75) who have recently been diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (or who have a sleep study scheduled) and have not yet started treatment to participate in a study to see how changes in brain function and structure relate to autonomic impairments – functions such as blood pressure, heart rate and sweating.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a serious disorder that occurs when a person's breathing is repeatedly interrupted during sleep, hundreds of times a night. Each time breathing stops, the oxygen level in the blood drops, which damages many cells in the body. If left untreated, it can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, diabetes, depression and other serious health problems.
"Eighteen million Americans are affected by sleep apnea," said Paul Macey, associate dean for information technology and innovations at the UCLA School of Nursing. "We already know that people with sleep apnea suffer from some sort of brain damage, but we are not sure if this injury is reversible. We are trying to determine whether the autonomic responses improve with treatments."
People interested in participating will go through a screening process, and if eligible will be enrolled in the study. Enrolled participants will be invited to do one or more of the following: MRI scanning; physical function testing; blood draw; and simple, daily home physical testing and brief questionnaires using a smart phone.
Participation will vary with each procedure: MRI scanning visits are 3 hours each (typically two visits with follow-ups several months later); physical testing visit is 2 hours (typically 1 visit with possible follow-ups several months later); blood draw visit is 30 minutes to 1 hour; and home daily testing using a smartphone involves daily tests (approx. 15 minutes) for 3-6 months.
Study participants will not be charged for any study procedure and will be compensated for participation.
The study is funded by the National Institute for Nursing Research.
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