Share:  
|
PAGE
MENU

About the Brain Changes in Sleep Apnea Study

What is the purpose of this study?

Sleep apnea leads to impaired memory and concentration, and eventually to an increased risk of stroke and dementia.

We are trying to understand how sleep apnea damages the brain and whether CPAP can reverse this damage. The ultimate goal is to devise new non-CPAP treatments to prevent and reverse the brain damage associated with sleep apnea and reduce the incidence of stroke and dementia. The Brain Changes in Sleep Apnea Study will be conducted in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. 

Research team

Dr. Andrew Lim

Dr. Lim is the principal investigator of the Brain Changes in Sleep Apnea Study. He is a scientist in the Hurvitz Brain Sciences Research Program at Sunnybrook Research Institute (SRI), an assistant professor of neurology at the University of Toronto (U of T) and a neurologist affiliated with the sleep clinic at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. He completed an MD and residency in neurology at U of T, a clinical sleep fellowship at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and a master’s degree in clinical investigation at Harvard Medical School.

The focus of his practice is disorders of sleep and circadian biology. His research uses statistical, genetic, neuropathological and epidemiological studies to understand better the genes and neural circuits that regulate individuals’ biological clocks and their sleep. The aim is to understand how disruption of sleep and biological rhythms—as seen in people with insomnia and those affected by shift work and jet lag—affect an individual’s risk for common medical conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease and stroke.

Dr. Sandra Black

Dr. Black is a co-principal investigator of the Brain Changes in Sleep Apnea Study. Dr. Black is the director of the Hurvitz Brain Sciences Research Program of SRI and a professor of neurology at U of T. She completed an MD at U of T and a fellowship in cognitive neurology at Western University. Dr. Black is the executive director of the Toronto Dementia Research Alliance, director of Sunnybrook’s LC Campbell Cognitive Neurology Research Unit and site leader of the Heart and Stroke Foundation Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery. She serves on the executive committees of the Alzheimer's Association International Society to Advance Alzheimer Research, and the International Society for Vascular Behavioural and Cognitive Disorders. She is also a neurologist at Sunnybrook with a practice focusing on dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, vascular cognitive impairment and stroke recovery. Her research focuses on the cognitive effects of stroke and stroke recovery, differential diagnoses of dementia, and use of neuroimaging techniques to elucidate brain-behaviour relationships in stroke and dementia.

Dr. Bradley MacIntosh

Dr. MacIntosh is a co-principal investigator of the Brain Changes in Sleep Apnea Study. Dr. MacIntosh is a senior scientist at SRI in the Hurvitz Brain Sciences Research Program and a core member of the Heart and Stroke Foundation Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery. He holds an academic post as an associate professor in the department of medical biophysics at U of T, where he completed his PhD in 2006. The MacIntosh lab works on clinical translation of neuroimaging methods and tools, focusing primarily on blood flow-related measurements like arterial spin labeling and blood oxygenation level-dependent functional imaging techniques.

Dr. Walter Swardfager

Dr. Swardfager is a scientist at SRI and an assistant professor in the department of pharmacology and toxicology at U of T. Dr. Swardfager’s research focuses on cognitive symptoms, particularly in later life. Ongoing studies explore the neuroimmunological intersection between psychiatric and metabolic diseases as an avenue to discover biomarkers, elucidate vulnerability factors and suggest new treatments. The mechanisms by which cardiopulmonary fitness and exercise interventions counteract neurodegenerative processes are of particular interest.

Dr. Sheldon Tobe

Dr. Tobe is a nephrologist at Sunnybrook, an associate scientist in the Schulich Heart Research Program at SRI and a professor in the division of nephrology at the University of Toronto. Dr. Tobe's research focuses on enhancing the lives of people with or at risk of developing kidney disease by improving prevention, diagnosis and control of hypertension. Current projects include the relationship of stress and its management to hypertension, microalbuminuria and hypertension, and renal vascular disease.

Dr. Chinthaka Heyn

Dr. Heyn is a neuroradiologist at Sunnybrook, an associate scientist in the Odette Cancer Research Program at SRI and an assistant professor in the department of medical imaging at U of T. The focus of Dr. Heyn’s research is the application of molecular imaging techniques to the study, diagnosis and characterization of diseases of the central nervous system.

Giselle Kraus

Giselle Kraus is the study coordinator of the Brain Changes in Sleep Apnea Study. She is also the study coordinator of the Ontario Sleep Health Study. Before starting in these roles, Giselle worked as a research coordinator for four years in the mood disorders program at McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, Canada. She has completed a master of science in psychiatry and a bachelor of arts in psychology, both at McGill University.

Sunnybrook Sleep Clinic Team

Dr. Brian Murray

Dr. Murray is a neurologist in the Sunnybrook sleep clinic and head of the division of neurology. He is also an affiliate scientist in the Hurvitz Brain Sciences research program at SRI and a professor in the division of neurology at U of T. Dr. Murray's major research interests are in neurological aspects of sleep and the relationship between sleep and behaviour. Some clinical conditions of interest include narcolepsy, rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder, restless legs syndrome and the effects of sleep and sleep disorders on other medical conditions.

Dr. Anu Tandon

Dr. Tandon is a respirologist in the Sunnybrook sleep clinic and head of the division of respirology. She is also an assistant professor in the division of respirology at the University of Toronto. Dr. Tandon’s major interests are in sleep apnea and other sleep disorders, and the sleep-related complications of neuromuscular disease.

Dr. Mark Boulos

Dr. Boulos is a neurologist in the Sunnybrook sleep clinic, an affiliate scientist in the Hurvitz Brain Sciences Research Program at SRI and an assistant professor in the division of neurology at U of T. His major research interests are in the intersection of sleep and cerebrovascular disease and ambulatory monitoring for sleep disorders.

Dr. Marc Narayansingh

Dr. Narayansingh is a neurologist in the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre sleep clinic. Dr. Narayansingh has a special interest in hypersomnias and narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome and other nocturnal limb movements, parasomnias, nocturnal seizures and sleep disorders associated with common neurological diseases.

Supporters

The Brain Changes in Sleep Apnea Study is supported by the Leducq Foundation. The Leducq Foundation aims to improve human health by supporting international efforts to combat cardiovascular and neurovascular disease.

Leducq Foundation

Contact information

Email: sleepapneabrain@sunnybrook.ca
Telephone: 416-480-5143
Address: Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, 2075 Bayview Ave., M1 600, Toronto, ON M4N 3M5