Andrew Lim, MD, a neurologist and scientist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, has been awarded a Canadian Institutes of Health Research operating grant for his project which aims to explore which dimensions of healthy sleep contribute to resistance and resilience of Alzheimer’s disease.

The project, Integrating Sleep Wearables, Brain Imaging, and Blood Biomarkers to Understand How Healthy Sleep Confers Resistance and Resilience to Alzheimer’s Disease Related Brain Changes, was awarded $749,458 of funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research as part of its Brain Health and Cognitive Impairment in Aging research initiative. 

The grant program is designed to advance the understanding of risk reduction and protective factors involved in promoting cognitive health and mitigating the changes that occur in the onset and progression of cognitive impairment and dementia in aging.

The three-year project will study 2,600 older adults participating in the ongoing Canadian Longitudinal Study of Aging, a national study of the chronic conditions of aging. It will relate detailed measurements of sleep brain wave activity (collected via a soft headband and smartwatch) to cognitive testing, brain scans, and blood markers of brain pathology and brain inflammation to better understand how healthy sleep contributes to resistance and resilience to Alzheimer’s disease-related brain changes.

The research team hopes the results will lay the foundation for new sleep- and brain inflammation-based approaches to preventing Alzheimer’s disease, potentially impacting the lives of the millions of Canadians at risk for dementia.