Goal 3: Advance Translational Research


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 in biomarkers was held at NIH. This was jointly organized by the National Center for Sleep Disorders Research and the Sleep Research Society.

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


179 net votes
240 up votes
61 down votes
Idea No. 668