Sleep disturbances affect daytime health and behavioral functioning in a variety of neurologic and psychiatric conditions. Overall, the prevalence of sleep disorders in individuals with intellectual disabilities has been found to be significantly higher then in age-matched typically developing individuals. Sleep disturbances are included in the diagnostic criteria for many of the neurodevelopmental syndromes and are concerns of parents of these children.
The focus of Dr. Goldman’s current research is to characterize the sleep patterns ascribed to children with neurodevelopmental disorders, with focus on Angelman and Prader Willi syndromes, and to examine the association of disturbed sleep with daytime sleepiness and behavior. Future plans are to also examine how the child’s sleep is associated with caregiver sleep and stress. Characterizing sleep abnormalities in Angelman and Prader Willi syndromes should advance understanding of these disorders and lead to novel and individualized approaches for treatment. Long-range goals include characterizing the genotypic and phenotypic components of sleep in neurodevelopmental disorders. Dr. Goldman is also active in autism research, specifically, the evaluation of actigraphy measured sleep parameters. Previously, she has characterized the sleep patterns of adolescents and young adults with Williams syndrome.
Much of the research completed at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center is made possible by the generous contributions of the people and families who participate in research studies. This researcher needs research subjects to complete the studies listed below.
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