The U.S. POINTER-zzz study has been awarded a $5.3 million grant from the U.S. National Institute on Aging (NIA) to incorporate in-home sleep assessments into the Alzheimer’s Association’s clinical trial, the U.S. Study to Protect Brain Health Through Lifestyle Intervention to Reduce Risk (U.S. POINTER). U.S. POINTER is a two-year clinical trial which is evaluating whether lifestyle changes can protect cognitive function in people at risk of developing memory decline and dementia.
Chronic sleep disturbances have been linked to an increased risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. Scientific evidence suggests that diet, exercise and cardiometabolic risk reduction can improve sleep, and that improved sleep may benefit cognitive function in older adults. The POINTER-zzz study will examine whether lifestyle changes might improve sleep quality in a subset of 700 adults who are participating in the larger U.S. POINTER clinical trial.
POINTER-zzz provides an unprecedented opportunity to test whether lifestyle changes can improve sleep using a simple test that is completed at home. The test involves wearing a watch-like device for one or more days and nights to measure sleep apnea, restlessness and other sleep disruptions.
The results of POINTER-zzz could provide important new information about how to treat sleep disturbances, which could slow or prevent cognitive decline.
Only those enrolled in the U.S. POINTER study are eligible to be included in the POINTER-zzz sub-study.
"We know that sleep disturbances may cause problems with memory and thinking, and increase the risk for Alzheimer’s-related brain changes. Our hope is that U.S. POINTER-zzz can show us new ways to reduce or eliminate these sleep problems, protect cognitive function and possibly reduce dementia risk."
Maria C. Carrillo, Ph.D.,
Alzheimer's Association Chief Science Officer