Goal 1: Promote Human Health

ROLE OF HEALTH DISPARITIES IN SLEEP AND CIRCADIAN HEALTH—ENVIRONMENT

Self-report data indicate that insufficient sleep is more common in minority populations. This seems to be related to socioeconomic status. There is a need to move this beyond self-report and obtain objective measures in the relevant populations. Moreover, the basis of this difference needs to be established. What aspect of the environment leads to these differences, e.g., noise, stress related to sense of vulnerability, ...more »

Submitted by (@jnoel0)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Self-report indicates that sleep duration is lower in minority populations. This seems to be related to socioeconomic groups. To address this issue requires understanding the basis of this and developing appropriate interventions.

 

The impact of this is as follows:

 

a. Implementing new technology based on mobile approaches to assess sleep duration in subjects in different socioeconomic groups.

b. Developing a comprehensive approach to understanding and evaluating environmental influences in sleep and circadian rhythm.

c. Designing and testing intervention to increase sleep duration in disadvantaged populations.

d. Improving the sleep health of minority populations.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

There is rapidly developing new mobile technology to assess sleep duration and other phenotypes in individuals living in their normal lives. There are a number of studies currently being conducted that could be leveraged to address this question. There are also developing approaches to assess environmental influences on sleep and circadian rhythm such as noise, light exposure, etc. Thus, this question could be addressed in the near future.

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

Voting

122 net votes
173 up votes
51 down votes
Active

Goal 1: Promote Human Health

ELUCIDATING BASIC MECHANISMS OF SLEEP DEFICIENCY AND CIRCADIAN DISRUPTION ON HEALTH THROUGH THE LIFESPAN

There are developing data from clinical studies that sleep deficiency and circadian disruption have multiple adverse consequences for health. The clinical data provide the base for mechanistic studies. Studies in animal models indicate that both circadian disruption and insufficient sleep later gene expression in peripheral tissues. Moreover, the effect of sleep loss in molecular changes in brain changes with age. ...more »

Submitted by (@jnoel0)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

There is no doubt that insufficient sleep and circadian disruption are very common in our society. There are also compelling epidemiological data that they are associated with multiple adverse consequences, including increased cardiovascular disease, increase in metabolic abnormalities such as insulin resistance and for shift work an increased incidence of specific concern. Animal studies based on microarrays are showing that inadequate sleep and circadian rhythm alter gene expression not only in brain but also in peripheral tissues. These studies are hypothesis-generating and there are many opportunities for hypothesis-driven research in this area to assess mechanisms. Identifying mechanisms will allow investigators to begin to assess mechanisms of individual differences and to identify new pathways for intervention.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Sleep and circadian research is in a very strong position. Sleep and clock function has now been identified in all the major model systems—C. elegans, Aphysia, Drosophila, zebra-fish, mice, etc. Thus, there is a strong platform to assess conserved pathways for effect of sleep loss and circadian disruption. Moreover, microarray studies have identified likely pathways thereby setting up hypothesis-driven research. There are major opportunities in this area.

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

Voting

174 net votes
230 up votes
56 down votes
Active

Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

UNDERSTANDING SLEEP AND CIRCADIAN DISORDERS AT A BASIC MECHANISTIC LEVEL

We need to understand sleep and circadian disorders at a more mechanistic level. This applies to both the pathogenesis of these disorders and to their impact on health. New neurobiological and molecular tools facilitate this research. The focus needs to be not only in brain but also the impact of these disorders on future of peripheral organs. The elucidation of the fundamental functions of sleep and the impact of ...more »

Submitted by (@jnoel0)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Much of the research on the consequences of sleep/circadian disorders has focused on their consequences or behavior. This type of research needs to be continued and there are new opportunities in this area. These behavioral studies need to be established in model systems to parallel studies in humans. In addition, new neurobiological approaches, including optogenetics and use of DREAD, provide new tools for this investigation. Moreover, we now have powerful molecular tools to evaluate effects of sleep/circadian disorders both in humans and animal models. These include microarrays, RNA seq, etc. Moreover, genetic studies, e.g., in restless legs syndrome, have identified gene variants conferring risk for the disorder. We do not know, however, how these particular genes are involved in the pathogenesis of the disorder or whether they represent potentially targets for drug intervention. There is a need for studies both in animal models and in humans to elucidate the function of these genes. Studies in other areas are obtaining stem cells from biopsies in patients and then turning these into relevant target cells such as neurons to elucidate gene function using in vitro approaches.

The impact of this effort will be the following:

 

a. Taking our understanding of pathogenesis of sleep and circadian disorders to a new level.

b. Understanding the consequences of sleep and circadian disorders on different end organs at a more in-depth molecular level.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

The sleep and circadian field have access to all the major cells systems for these studies—C. elegans, aplysia, Drosophila, zebra-fish, mice, etc. Moreover, there are already gene variants identified in human studies which require follow-up functional studies. The field has the expertise in all of the techniques described above. Moreover, there are more validated animal models for many of the common sleep disorders. Thus, this new approach is very feasible. 

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

Voting

179 net votes
232 up votes
53 down votes
Active

Goal 1: Promote Human Health

Do our modern "traditional" sleep schedules defy nature?

Here's an interesting article which shows that the modern tradition of eight hours of unbroken sleep might actually be unnatural, and quite different from what our ancestors typically did: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-16964783 So, maybe the majority of our modern societies (even the people without recognized sleep disorders) are unwisely fighting against biology? Perhaps a lot of people's health issues, such as ...more »

Submitted by (@apollia112)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

See comments

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

See comments

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Apollia

Voting

5 net votes
23 up votes
18 down votes
Active

Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Circadian patterns of injury/repair pathways

What is the role of clock-dependent mechanisms in cell injury/repair pathways and tissue dysfunction in heart, lung, and blood pathophysiology? How are pathways involved in disease and repair affected by aging-dependent mechanisms?

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator1)

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

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : NHLBI Staff

Voting

-6 net votes
16 up votes
22 down votes
Active

Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Circadian strategies to improve therapies

What circadian-based strategies (e.g. timing of medication) can be applied to improve the efficacy of treatments for heart, lung, and blood diseases (e.g. hypertension, nocturnal asthma, thrombosis, obesity/diabetes)?

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator1)

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

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : NHLBI Staff

Voting

22 net votes
37 up votes
15 down votes
Active

Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

DEVELOPMENT OF BIOMARKERS FOR SLEEP INSUFFICIENCY, CIRCADIAN DISRUPTION AND SLEEP DISORDERS

There is an urgent need to develop quantifiable biomarkers for acute sleep loss, chronic sleep insufficiency, circadian disruption and sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea. These problems are highly prevalent but currently we do not have biomarkers to use for case identification, prognosis, or assessing response to therapy. There are currently small studies that indicate the feasibility. A recent workshop ...more »

Submitted by (@jnoel0)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

The following will be the impact of addressing this critical challenge:

 

1. Having an assessment that can be used following a crash to assess the level of sleep loss of the driver.

2. Having a method to assess chronic sleep insufficiency as a potential pathogenetic process in patients with cardiovascular disease, hypertension, etc.

3. Having a method to estimate circadian phase so that in patients with chronic insomnia one can identify individuals with delayed sleep phase.

4. Having a technique to establish magnitude of circadian disruption to assess its role in pathogenesis of diseases such as cardiovascular disease.

5. Add a molecular biomarker to other techniques to screen for obstructive sleep apnea in high risk populations such as obese commercial drivers.

6. Utilize a biomarker signature to identify who with obstructive sleep apnea will be particularly at risk for downstream consequences such as cardiovascular disease.

7. Develop the equivalent of HbA1C to assess therapeutic response to CPAP

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

The first challenge is to identify a signature for each of these use cases. This will require initial studies in a small number of well phenotyped subjects with all the “-omic” techniques. Thereafter, these multiple cohorts, already available with blood samples, etc. and relative phenotype can be used for validation purposes.

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

Voting

179 net votes
240 up votes
61 down votes
Active

Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

NEW INFRASTRUCTURE FOR CLINICAL RESEARCH IN SLEEP AND CIRCADIAN DISORDERS

Much of the current clinical research on sleep and circadian research depends on cohorts designed for other purposes. While this has been helpful, such studies have limitations. These limitations are related to availability of in-depth phenotyping data and questions as to whether individuals identified in population studies are equivalent to those who present clinically with specific disorders. These concerns could ...more »

Submitted by (@jnoel0)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Sleep and circadian disorders are extremely common. For many of these we know little about the natural history, whether different subgroups exist and effects of current therapies. Thus, developing specific registries for common sleep and circadian disorders would provide a basis for addressing these questions.

 

For some aspects, e.g., studies of inadequate sleep, impact of snoring and circadian disruption, would be facilitated by developing a specific sleep/circadian cohort with in-depth phenotyping. This strategy has worked extremely well in other areas, e.g., cardiovascular disease. The lack of this type of cohort for sleep and circadian disorders is a barrier to progress in this area. The high prevalence of these disorders and their known public health significance argue that development of such a cohort would be a game changer and accelerate progress in this new area of medicine.

 

Such a cohort could address several compelling questions:

 

a. What is the natural history of short sleep across the lifespan?

b. What is the impact of snoring? Does it lead, as has been proposed, to vibration injury to carotid arteries with accelerated vessel wall damage?

c. Are there different subtypes of individuals with the different sleep and circadian disorders?

d. What is the natural history of shift-workers and what types of shifts lead to increased risk for cardiovascular disease?

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Problems with sleep and circadian rhythm and the relevant disorders are common. There are multiple accredited sleep centers for clinical purposes in the United Sates. They use common phenotyping platforms that could be the basis of some aspects of addressing this critical challenge. Moreover, most CTSA programs have a sleep study component. There are patient support groups for sleep apnea, insomnia, restless legs syndrome and narcolepsy. Thus, these groups could be marshaled to help in this effort. There is already a Sleep Research Network that was founded by the field itself. It is currently based on volunteer effort and there are no resources to support it. It could be the basis for future activities in this area.

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

Voting

126 net votes
186 up votes
60 down votes
Active

Goal 4: Develop Workforce and Resources

NOVEL APPROACHES TO TRAINING IN SLEEP AND CIRCADIAN RESEARCH

Sleep and circadian disorders are relatively new areas of medicine. Most universities currently lack a critical mass of investigators to develop institutional T32 grants. Thus, there are, unfortunately, few such programs nationally. The Sleep Research Society has recognized this and is taking active steps to facilitate development of other T32 institutional training grants. This will not, however, help the majority ...more »

Submitted by (@jnoel0)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

The current status of research training in sleep and circadian disorders suggest that new approaches are needed. The field has developed one multi-center training grant to bring training to different institutions. This is focused on genetic/genomic approaches. It is run by the University of Pennsylvania which has a well developed program in this area. The fellows in training are, however, at other institutions, i.e., Johns Hopkins, University of Michigan and Stanford. Web-based approaches are used for work-in-progress seminars, grant development workshops and group mentorship, and didactic lectures. This strategy could be used more broadly to develop research training in other areas of sleep and circadian research. Stimulating this would have a major impact on research training in this new field of medicine.

 

Another relevant strategy would be to encourage adding slots in a competitive way for sleep/circadian research to other existing institutional T32 grants.

 

There are multiple mechanisms in place to communicate opportunities to the sleep/circadian academic community, i.e., Sleep-L, administered by the National Center for Sleep Disorders Research; Sleep Research Society biweekly blog; the Sleep Research Network. Specific encouragement of this approach would broaden the base for research training and would be of high impact.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

The field of sleep and circadian research has had a long commitment to facilitating research training. The Sleep Research Society has hosted Trainee Day at our annual meeting for 20 years. The Sleep Research Society is funding early-stage investigators through its Foundation. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine runs, in collaboration with the NHLBI, an event at NIH for early-stage investigators in clinical research. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine Foundation has a “Bridge to K Award” program that provides funds to early-stage investigators who just missed funding on their first application for a K award. The Sleep Research Society has provided travel funds for early-stage investigators to attend recent workshops held by different NIH Institutes including National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Thus, there is no doubt of the commitment of the field and its professional organizations.

 

The impact of these new initiatives would be to broaden the base for research training beyond a few institutions. The number of institutions with a critical mass of investigators to mount successful T32 institutional training grants is not sufficient to provide the necessary future biomedical research workforce in this area. Novel approaches, based on modern communication IT technology, are needed.

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

Voting

142 net votes
209 up votes
67 down votes
Active

Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Understanding of chronobiological systems

We know that all life functions are based on circadian and other rhythms; chronobiological systems are interdependent in intricate ways. Disturbances and disorders in one part of a system may affect other vital systems in unexpected but far-reaching ways. Many aspects of circadian rhythms and sleep-wake regulation in normal, healthy humans have been charted. Much of the knowledge thus gained is assumed to be valid also ...more »

Submitted by (@nma120)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

As research on the extrinsic Shift Work Disorder shows, disturbances of the normal person’s sleep-wake cycle have consequences. These may include excessive daytime sleepiness, increased risk of traffic and other accidents, dysregulation of metabolic and other systems, obesity, increased risk of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, mood disorders and other diseases. Normal people trying to function on an abnormal schedule may develop conditions that lead to disability or death. Intrinsic CSWD patients suffer many of the same conditions as well as others.

 

These patients desperately need answers: Why am I like this, Do I dare have children, Will it get worse as I age, Can anything be done in addition to light boxes, scototherapy and melatonin, What is really the best timing in use of these treatments, Will I get disability?

 

Research on these patients will likely lead to discoveries that could be the target for future studies, thus impacting the modern fields of sleep and circadian rhythms research.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

The intrinsic CSWDs are:

 

1) Lifelong DSWPD, delayed sleep-wake phase disorder

2) Adolescent DSWPD

3) ASWPD, advanced sleep-wake phase disorder

4) ISWRD, irregular sleep-wake rhythm disorder

5) Blind Non-24, N24SWRD, non-24-hour sleep-wake rhythm disorder in the blind

6) Sighted Non-24, N24SWRD in the non-blind.

 

I have listed 6 disorders; the usual number is 4. The first 2 on my list are usually combined, as are the last 2.

 

Some of the challenges, for different age groups and degrees of severity, are to:

--Find the causes of the disorders that are not yet explained

--Examine genetics and heritability

--Differentiate teens’ DSWPD as adolescent or persistent type

--Discover why adult DSWPD often precedes the development of Non-24 in sighted people

--Validate the use of light therapy, dark therapy and melatonin, including detailed recommendations for the timing and dosage of each of them

--Find other, more reliable, treatments

--Develop simple tests for determining persistent internal circadian desynchronization in an individual.

 

 

Some of the disorders have been explained, in whole or in part. There is great need for work with, at least, the following groups of patients:

-Adult DSWPS

-Pre-puberty children w/ DSWPS

-Adult sighted N24

-Pre-puberty sighted children w/ Non-24

 

Of these, adults with DSWPD are, of course, the most numerous. Research on that disorder may lead to results of interest for N24, these disorders being closely related.

Voting

1 net vote
1 up votes
0 down votes
Active

Goal 1: Promote Human Health

INVESTIGATE DIFFERENTIAL VULNERABILITY TO SLEEP DEFICIENCY AND CIRCADIAN DISRUPTION

Studies in different subjects have shown that there are major individual differences in response to sleep loss and circadian disruption. Twin studies have shown that this is heritable. There needs to be an intensive effort to assess basis of these individual differences. This could include in-depth phenotyping studies, e.g., neuroimaging, genetic studies, “-omic” studies, epigenetic changes, etc.

Submitted by (@jnoel0)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

There are major individual differences in response to sleep loss (both acute and chronic) and to circadian disruption. This has major impact both in terms of health consequences and in safety. Some individuals are particularly vulnerable to sleep loss and hence are more likely to have adverse consequences of losing sleep—increased risk of crashes, errors by physicians, etc. They are also more likely to be affected by metabolic and other consequences if they have chronic insufficient sleep.

 

Identifying the basis of these individual differences will have several impacts:

 

1. It will provide likely targets for development of biomarkers to assess effect of sleep loss and circadian disruption.

2. It will provide tools to risk stratify individuals and to employ preventative strategies to reduce risk of major adverse consequences.

3. It will identify novel pathways that could be the target for future intervention studies.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

These studies are highly feasible. Phenotyping and recruitment strategies to study this question have been established in many laboratories. Moreover, more laboratories are utilizing genetic, -omic approaches and epigenetic approaches that could be applied to this question. There is also a developing repertoire of neuroimaging studies that can be applied to address this question.

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

Voting

155 net votes
213 up votes
58 down votes
Active

Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

DEVELOPMENT OF A PERSONALIZED APPROACH TO SLEEP AND CIRCADIAN DISORDERS

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 ...more »

Submitted by (@jnoel0)

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

Voting

167 net votes
220 up votes
53 down votes
Active