Researchers at The University of Western Australia (UWA) are seeking volunteers for a study looking at the relationship between sleep and cognition in people with Parkinson’s disease.

The researchers are looking for about 100 healthy older adults, aged over 50 years, and 100 people with Parkinson’s disease to answer a range of survey questions. Some will be asked to participate in a sleep study in their own homes.

Researcher Maria Kroczek, a PhD student in UWA’s School of Psychology, said people with Parkinson’s disease had very specific cognitive problems, primarily in memory and executive function, such as planning, judgement and inhibition.

“They also tend to have very disrupted sleep, and we know from previous research into older adults that people who sleep poorly tend to have these same problems,” Ms Kroczek said.

“So what I’m trying to show is that some of the cognitive problems in Parkinson’s could be linked to sleeping poorly. My study involves a series of questionnaires about sleep, memory and mood. 

“Some participants will then be asked to participate in a one-night polysomnography (sleep study) in their own homes, as well as a set of cognitive tests and some questionnaires.”

For more details and to participate in the study, contact Maria Kroczek on 0433 308 484.

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