The AASM Foundation awarded nearly $400,000 in career development awards to support sleep clinicians and researchers at various stages of their careers. The funded projects will examine racial disparities in the association of slow wave sleep and plasma Aβ42/Aβ40 ratio, study the interaction between novel slow-wave specific electroencephalography (EEG) markers of sleepiness and hypoxic burden, investigate patterns of clinical diagnosis data to improve patient classification in large-scale biobanks, and work to develop models of care for positive airway pressure (PAP) adherence among patients with heart failure.

Bridge to Success Award for Early Career Investigators

Omonigho Michael Bubu, MD, PhD, MPH
NYU Grossman School of Medicine
Race specific effects of the association between slow wave sleep and plasma Aβ42/40

This proposal will examine whether racial differences exist in the association of slow wave sleep and plasma Aβ42/Aβ40 ratio in cognitively normal older adults in a sample of 40 African-Americans, compared to a group of 20, age, sex, ApoE4, BMI, education matched non-Hispanic whites. Participants will have neuroimaging measures of amyloid, and nocturnal polysomnography recordings. Findings from this project will create the basis for designing interventions that increase sleep quality as a novel therapeutic target for Alzheimer’s Disease prevention.

Ankit Parekh, PhD
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Sleep Microarchitecture and Daytime Sleepiness in the Sleep Heart Health Study

Drowsy driving accounts for one in eight motor vehicle crashes leading to hospitalization or death, and patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) experience excessive daytime sleepiness and have an increased risk of drowsy driving. However, there is large inter-individual variability in the relationship between OSA severity and sleepiness. Using data from the large multi-center cohort Sleep Heart Health Study, this project will study the interaction between novel slow-wave specific EEG markers of sleepiness and hypoxic burden that may explain the inter-individual variation.

Bridge to Success Award for Mid-Career/Senior Investigators

Brian Cade, PhD
Brigham and Women’s Hospital / Harvard Medical School
Genetic Epidemiology of Sleep Apnea, Insomnia, and Comorbidities in Biobanks

Sleep apnea (SA) and insomnia, the two most common sleep disorders, are comprised of heterogeneous subtypes, which remain poorly defined and may contribute differently to the risk of cardiopulmonary, metabolic and psychiatric diseases. Cluster analyses based on patterns of comorbid diseases will separate SA and insomnia into more homogeneous subtypes, providing cleaner phenotypes for genetic analyses and guiding risk stratification of patients. In this project, we will lay the foundation for the largest genetic analysis of validated diagnosed SA and insomnia disorders to date. This project study patterns of clinical diagnosis data to improve patient classification in two large-scale biobanks (Partners and Geisinger) to 1) demonstrate the clinical generalizability and technical feasibility of characterizing patient distributions, extracting clinical note terms from a second biobank using natural language processing, and optimizing the definition of controls; 2) identify diseases that share genetic architecture with SA and insomnia using heritability analyses; and 3) identify distinct SA and insomnia subgroups of patients with related comorbidity profiles using cluster analyses.

ABSM Jr. Faculty Award

Cinthya Pena Orbea, MD
Cleveland Clinic
Effect of Post-Discharge Telemedicine Motivational Enhancement Intervention in Heart Failure and Obstructive Sleep Apnea on Adherence and Health Outcomes

Development and investigation of interventions to improve patient follow up and PAP adherence after discharge is of paramount importance, particularly among patients admitted with acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF). Creating models of care such as TIME (Telemedicine Intensive Motivational Enhancement) could hold the answer to promote treatment adherence post-discharge in ADHF, thereby improving cardiovascular and patient reported outcomes.