Our lab is interested in exploring the impact of sleep, inflammation, and loneliness on the mental, physical, and cognitive health of older adults with serious mental illness. We have a particular focus on individuals with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and bipolar mood disorder.
Issues with sleep have long been known to induce detrimental effects onto the health and quality of life of individuals. In particular, sleep deficits are known to be related to a decline in cognition, mood, and cardiovascular health. High proportions of individuals with psychotic disorders are consistently found to have a higher prevalence of sleep disorders. Often underdiagnosed due to a myriad of reasons, disorders like sleep apnea often go untreated in these incredibly vulnerable populations.
In conducting our research, we utilize modern wearable technology (FitBits) and at-home sleep tests to collect passive metrics regarding sleep and daily activity levels. Our study staff administers assessments comprised of an interview and neuropsychological testing battery.
We are interested in understanding the mechanisms by which sleep disorders both manifest and affect older populations with serious mental illness. In doing so, our work hopes to provide insight into areas that may be most useful to target in order to improve health outcomes and quality of life of people with serious mental illness.
Our work is supported by the National Institute of Mental Health, the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, the Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center, and the University of California San Diego Clinical and Translational Research Institute.
Impact of Sleep Disturbances on Health in Schizophrenia | SNOOZE
The goal of this study is to evaluate the relationship between sleep problems and the health of people with schizophrenia.
We are actively recruiting participants! Participants for our study must: 1) either have a diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective, bipolar disorder, or a lifetime absence of major mental illness, 2) not be under a conservatorship, and 3) be between the ages of 40-70 years old. If you are interested, please contact us!
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment in People Aging with Serious Mental Illness | OASIS
The goal of this study is to assess the acceptance and effectiveness of positive airway pressure treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, and its impact on cognition, health outcomes, and biological processes.
We are actively recruiting participants! Participants for our study must: 1) either have a diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective, bipolar disorder, or a lifetime absence of major mental illness, 2) be at risk for/have a diagnosis of sleep apnea determined either by clinical or research assessments, 3) not be under conservatorship, and 4) be between the ages of 40-70 years old. If you are interested, please contact us!
Serious Mental Illness Intervention and Sleep Tracking App | SIESTA
The goal of this study is to test the feasibility and acceptability of a mobile-cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia modified for people with serious mental illness.
This study is currently in the mobile application development phase and is expected to be ready for recruitment during the summer of 2023.
Multi-component Intervention for Diabetes in Adults with Serious Mental Illness | MIDAS
The goal of this study is to assess if exposure to education regarding nutrition, diabetes, physical activity, and smoking reduction will improve the health of adults with schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders in either a board-and-care or independent living facility.
Longitudinal Study to Assess Healthy Aging in a Community Setting
The goal of this study is to learn about healthy aging within a community living setting, potentially revealing interventions that may support improvements in health and well-being in older populations.
Psychosis and Aging
The goal of this study is to further understanding on the accelerated aging of persons with schizophrenia.