Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease


There is developing evidence of major individual differences in pathways to different common sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea. Moreover, there is evidence of different clinical presentations of disease and different outcomes. For example, some subjects with obstructive sleep apnea who get excessive sleepiness while others do not. The latter are still at risk for other consequences of the disorder such as cardiovascular disease. These findings indicate that there is a strong scientific rationale for a more personalized approach to diagnosis and management. This applies not only to obstructive sleep apnea but also to other common sleep and circadian disorders.

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Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)?: Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC:

There is a strong rationale for application of a personalized approach to sleep disorders. This requires approaching this question using multiple domains as in other areas of medicine—clinical features, physiological factors, application of the –omic approaches, genetics. The impact of this will be several:


a. A new way to classify sleep disorders.

b. Identification of subgroups of patients with apparently the same disorder who will have different outcomes of therapy.

c. Identification of subgroups of patients who will have different approaches to diagnosis.

d. Identification of subgroups of patients with apparently the same disorder who will have different therapeutic approaches.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC:

These sleep and circadian disorders are extremely common. There is a risk infrastructure for this type of research based on the large number of accredited sleep centers in the United States that could be used for subject recruitment and who can adopt similar techniques. There is also a rich set of data obtained from sleep studies that could be used to identify new patterns that reflect different subgroups of subjects. These studies need to be based on clinical populations of patients who present with the different disorders rather than on population-based cohorts.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea: Sleep Research Society


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167 net votes
220 up votes
53 down votes
Idea No. 674