The first study of its kind in Australia, University of Tasmania PhD candidate Samantha Bramich will survey Tasmanian adults aged over 50 years in the ISLAND Project study and at the Royal Hobart Hospital to find the prevalence of REM sleep behaviour disorder, as well as other sleep disturbances.
REM sleep behaviour disorder occurs while someone is dreaming, where they become physical such as kicking or punching during their sleep. The disorder has been linked to the development of dementia or Parkinson’s disease, but very little is known regarding how many people have it or why some people develop other diseases, and some do not.
The aim of the ISLAND Sleep Study is to find out how many people in Tasmania aged over 50 have REM sleep behaviour disorder and identify any factors that influence whether a person with the disorder develops other brain diseases later in life.
Participants involved in the study will receive a personalised validated sleep quality score after completing a questionnaire, which profiles their sleep efficiency, dreaming, daily habits and other factors that affect sleep.
The ISLAND Sleep Study is being conducted by the University of Tasmania’s Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre, and is open to ISLAND project participants.