Ontario-Sleep-Brain-Health-Study
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FAQ

Who is eligible to participate in the Ontario Sleep and Brain Health Study?

At the present time, participation is by invitation only and limited to existing participants of Ontario-based studies of aging and brain health. 

The study coordinator, Giselle Kraus, will contact you via phone or email to tell you more about the Ontario Sleep and Brain Health Study and ask if you are interested to participate. At any time, you may also contact her directly at 416-480-5143 or sleepandbrainhealth@sunnybrook.ca.

What if I have a diagnosed sleep disorder such as sleep apnea?

Individuals who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea are still eligible to participate in the Ontario Sleep and Brain Health Study.

How many people will participate in the Ontario Sleep and Brain Health Study (OSBHS)?

It is anticipated that 300 individuals will be invited to participate in this study.

How do I participate in the OSBHS?

Participation is by invitation only and limited to existing participants of Ontario-based studies of aging and brain health. The study coordinator, Giselle Kraus, will contact you via phone or email to tell you more about the Ontario Sleep and Brain Health Study and ask if you are interested to participate. For more information, you can contact her directly at 416-480-5143 or sleepandbrainhealth@sunnybrook.ca.

What will I be asked to do if I agree to participate in the OSBHS?

The entire study takes place in your own home. There are no additional costs to you. We will mail you equipment, which you will use to measure your own sleep and biological rhythms over a 10-day period. You will then mail this back to the study centre using a postage-paid envelope. During your participation in the study, you will also be asked to complete a short questionnaire about your sleep.

Why is participation in the OSBHS important?

Older adults with disrupted sleep have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and other causes of cognitive impairment. Moreover, studies suggest that treatment of sleep disorders such as sleep apnea can have a positive effect on cognition. However, there is a lot we do not know about the link between sleep and brain health. The aim is to understand better the aspects of sleep disruption that most impact the risk and progression of cognitive impairment in older adults, the causes of cognitive impairment that are most affected, and the biological mechanisms underlying these effects. Thus, the OSBHS will help us design novel sleep-based interventions to enhance brain health and slow or prevent cognitive decline in adults with and without Alzheimer's disease and other causes of cognitive impairment.

How will this study benefit me?

Once you have completed the study, we will provide you with data about your sleep and circadian rhythms, including the quantity and quality of your sleep and the likelihood that you have problems breathing in your sleep, also known as sleep apnea.

More importantly, by participating in this study, you will play a key role in helping us to understand better the links between sleep health and brain health—knowledge that will help us to design novel sleep-based interventions to enhance brain health and slow or prevent cognitive decline in adults with and without Alzheimer's disease and other causes of cognitive impairment.

Are there any risks involved in participating in the OSBHS?

There are no medical risks involved in participating in this study. Some individuals may experience slight discomfort while sleeping with the equipment, but most individuals are able to wear the equipment with no effect on their usual sleep.

Will I be paid to participate in the OSBHS?

No, you will not be paid to participate in this study.

How will my information be kept confidential?

If you participate in the OSBHS, the only individuals who will have access to your personal information are the staff involved in the Ontario Sleep and Brain Health Study and the staff involved in the brain-eye amyloid memory study (BEAM) and the Medical Imaging Trial Network of Canada (MITNEC).

The sleep data collected by the OSBHS may be shared with outside researchers who pass a strict scientific and ethical review, but all identifying personal information will be removed prior to this shared access. Therefore, they will have no way of identifying who you are.

Furthermore, when the results of the study are published, your personal identity will not be disclosed. The results published will only refer to the study population as a whole.

Can the sleep results from the study substitute for a visit to my doctor?

No, the results from this study are not meant to diagnose or treat individuals. However, if your results indicate that you may have a sleep disorder, you will be encouraged to seek professional help. Also, regardless of your OSBHS results, if you are noticing sleep problems that are impacting your daily life, you should visit a doctor to see what treatment may be beneficial for you.

What happens if I agree to the study and then decide I no longer want to participate?

We understand if you decide, for any reason, to not start or complete your participation in the study. However, please inform us as soon as possible via phone at 416-480-5143 or email sleepandbrainhealth@sunnybrook.ca, if you decide not to participate. If you have already received the package of study equipment, we ask that you please return the equipment to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in the pre-paid envelope provided to you.