Sleep Quality as a Marker of Early Brain Development
Jamie Edgin of the University of Arizona in the U.S. will determine whether the quality of sleep in infants can predict the level of specific brain functions such as language and cognition later in childhood. They will perform a study of 6 to 24 month old infants, both healthy and with neurological disorders associated with disrupted sleep. Sleep quality will be measured every three months over the course of a year using a small movement detector attached to the infant's leg, and from parent surveys. The resultant sleep growth trajectories will be linked with the child's functional behavior, language and cognitive development. This simple and non- invasive method could be used to identify infants at risk of developing neurological disorders for earlier and potentially more effective treatment.