The role of sleep in the development of dementia is emerging as an important modifiable risk factor for cognitive decline, although processes by which poor sleep quality may contribute to dementia remain largely unexplored.
The aim of this research is to address the clinically significant question of whether sleep patterns and sleep neuropeptides are associated with a variety of brain changes in Down syndrome, and whether these changes are linked to memory problems.
Recent advances in medical technology have allowed for the development of clinically approved MRI scanners which have significantly stronger magnets (7 Tesla (7T) MRI), which means the images of the brain that are captured are much more detailed and clear. With this enhanced type of brain imaging, the ability to identify subtle changes in the brain associated with early dementia onset and the interaction with sleep quality is significantly improved.
Participants will take part in a single research visit to Addenbrookes Hospital, which will last approximately 3-4 hours.
After fully informed consent is given and safety for MRI is confirmed, there will be a 1 hour brain scan in the 7T MRI scanner, located at the Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre.
A single blood sample will be taken, and then the participants will complete a sleep-related questionnaire and some short memory tasks.
At this visit, participants will also be given a Fitbit, which they will wear for a period of one week to assess their sleep duration and patterns. A visit to a sleep clinic is also optional for this study.