Shubhangi A. – BASIS Phoenix

BASIS Phoenix Senior Shubhangi A.

Counting Sheep: The Many Ways Sleep Disorders Lead to Cognitive Impairment

Project/blog link: Counting Sheep: The Many Ways Sleep Disorders Lead to Cognitive Impairment
BASIS Advisor: Brittany Holtzman
Internship location: Phoenix Neurological and Pain Institute
Onsite Mentor: Tammie Vela, Office Manager

Project Abstract

Do you know how many neurological diseases go undiagnosed? Or are diagnosed incorrectly? Did you know that many symptoms of one neurological disorder are confused with those of another? There are many things we know about the brain, but there are also many things we have yet to learn. Its complexity creates problems in testing for disorders. Most neurological diseases do not have laboratory tests that give "yes" or "no" answers, resulting in multiple diagnoses. This is an issue when diagnosing disorders. The same is true for sleep disorders. Sleep helps the body heal and repair its blood vessels. A prolonged sleep deficiency or a sleep disorder can result in damage to various organs of the body apart from the brain. For instance, a decreased amount of oxygen in the body during sleep can result in changes to the heart as well as structural problems in the brain. Through working with a neurologist at Phoenix Neurological and Pain Institute, I hope to gain insight into various sleep disorders and the distinct ways they affect the structure of the brain and in turn, different cognitive functions. Sleep disorders, especially sleep apnea, are relatively common. My goal is to add to what we know about them through this research.

Counting Sheep: The Many Ways Sleep Disorders Lead to Cognitive Impairment