UA Study Researches Link Between Sleep And Developmental Disorders

By Andrew Bernier
Published: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 - 5:05am
Updated: Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - 5:10pm
(Courtesy of Bevin Dunn)
Part of the $100,000 will be used to recruit infants and families for the sleep study.

Secrets to understanding developmental disorders may have links to infant sleep patterns, and a prominent funding group thinks a University of Arizona study needs to go further to find out.

The study, called “Arizona Sweet Dreams,” is hoping to determine if the quality of a child’s sleep can serve as an indicator for autism or cognitive development disorders. Professor Jamie Edgin leads the study.

 “What we really wanted to do in this study was to expand it and look at other populations who are at risk for those problems." Edgin said. "And also to really map out development in relation to each other’s sleep in early childhood when kids are developing words, when they are starting to use phrases.”    

The study was recently awarded $100,000 in funding by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The foundation may continue to fund the study for a second phase if the research achieves certain benchmarks. The foundation supports research as part of its Grand Challenges Explorations program. Part of the money will be used to recruit infant participants for the study.

Updated 11/12/2014 at 5:10 p.m.

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