• Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Feasibility of measuring sleep-dependent brain activity at home in people with mild cognitive impairment and mild Alzheimer's disease to help delay symptoms (SleepAD)



  • Contact name

    Elizabeth Coulthard

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    University of Bristol

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    2 years, 0 months, 0 days

  • Research summary

    New approaches to treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are desperately needed. AD brain changes build up for 2-3 decades before diagnosis. Amyloid beta (abeta) plaques and another protein, tau, appear before clinical symptoms. There are no licensed treatments for AD that can delay progression.

    Through targeting therapy early in the course of disease before symptoms interfere with day-to-day life, we could slow progression of AD. Delaying progression to AD dementia by 3 years would reduce the number of cases in the UK by 394000 with save £12.7billion per year.
    Modifying sleep quality is an untapped opportunity with potential to delay progression of neurodegenerative diseases such as AD while promoting physiological processes that improve cognition, mental health and wellbeing. Poor sleep is associated with increased likelihood of future dementia, AD worsens sleep and poor sleep is linked to worse cognition. Deficits in sleep have been associated with the degree of abeta and tau burden prior to AD onset as well as memory impairment. Treating sleep might therefore help slow AD progression and improve symptoms of memory loss.

    Before we can improve sleep in AD we need to –
    1) Understand how best to measure sleep in people with AD
    2) Test new blood tests for AD to see how accurate they are in early disease.

    To do this, we will run two substudies. Substudy 1 will test whether new home sleep recording works in people with AD (rather than current gold-standard, but burdensome, testing in laboratories). Substudy 2 will test whether blood tests for AD are as accurate as standard invasive tests.

    This feasibility, acceptability and diagnostic sensitivity data will be translated directly into clinical trials to delay progression of Alzheimer’s and improve independence and quality of life in older people at risk of AD.

  • REC name

    West of Scotland REC 4

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    9 Feb 2023

  • REC opinion

    Further Information Favourable Opinion