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UQ – Call for participants – Parkinson’s Disease: How’s your sleep?

The University of Queensland is looking for people with difficulty sleeping who are interested in participating in an individual trial to see if a new type of melatonin helps their insomnia. To participate your will need to live within a few hours drive from Brisbane as there is one study visit to Wesley Medical Research at Wesley Hospital in Brisbane.

Click here for more information on how you can become involved.

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive, degenerative neurological condition affecting a dopamine system of the brain, resulting in movement disorders and other symptoms.  It is Australia’s second commonest neurological disease and is growing in numbers at a rate of 17% per year over the last six years.

Parkinson’s Disease and sleep

Approximately two thirds of people with Parkinson’s Disease experience one or more sleep-related symptoms, with insomnia being the most common. The neurodegenerative process in the brain, disturbances of the sleep-wake cycle, the effect of symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease on sleep, and having another sleep disorder such as restless legs syndrome, all contribute to sleep disturbances in people with Parkinson’s Disease.

Sleep disorders often cause major discomfort in Parkinson’s Disease. Not only is the person’s health and quality of life affected, but so are their family members’, especially if they are also carers.  And we have little evidence to suggest that current practices work for long-term treatment of sleep-related problems in people with Parkinson’s Disease. Despite the recognised impact of sleep disturbance in Parkinson’s Disease, there have been few studies in this area.

Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone released by the pineal gland which regulates the sleep-wake cycle, temperature regulation, reproductive rhythm, and immune function. Melatonin regulates the sleep-wake cycle by promoting the desire to sleep at night. Studies in other conditions show that melatonin can increase sleep efficiency, decrease night-time awakenings, and may be particularly effective to help people get to sleep.

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