MU researchers study sleep patterns in people with bipolar disorder

Wednesday, May 8, 2024 - 12:45

Researchers at Maynooth University’s Kathleen Lonsdale Institute for Human Health Research are engaged in mental health research using cutting-edge sleep monitoring technology to study sleep timing and body clock changes in people suffering from bipolar disorder.

This innovative study called AMBIENT-BD will use cutting-edge methods in collecting information on sleep timing and daily body clock (circadian) rhythms over an extended period of time to provide a clearer picture than previous studies of the complexity of daily circadian rhythms in individuals with bipolar disorder.

The MU researchers, Dr Cathy Wyse, Dr Lorna Lopez and Prof Andrew Coogan, are collaborating in the international consortium study based at University of Edinburgh led by Professor Daniel Smith.

Prof Coogan, a behavioural neuroscientist at the Department of Psychology, and Dr Lopez and Dr Wyse of the Department of Biology, will collaborate as part of a team of 19 researchers in the five-year study funded by Wellcome.

Prof Coogan welcomed the launch of the study: “Exploring the intricate interplay between sleep timing, daily circadian rhythms, and bipolar disorder is a crucial step towards a deeper understanding of this complex condition.

“Maynooth University’s collaboration in the AMBIENT-BD study will harness cutting-edge technology, allowing us to delve into the nuances of sleep timing changes that may significantly impact individuals with bipolar disorder.

“This pioneering research, made possible by the generous support of Wellcome, holds the promise of uncovering vital insights that could redefine how we approach and treat this challenging mental health condition."

Professor Daniel Smith of the University of Edinburgh said: “We are delighted to be working on this important project with the team at Maynooth, given their expertise in body clock research in mental health”.

Director of the Kathleen Lonsdale Institute for Human Health Research, Professor Paul Moynagh, said: “The AMBIENT-BD project represents an excellent example of the research the Kathleen Lonsdale Institute for Human Health seeks to promote, in that it is an international multidisciplinary collaboration aimed at advancing a key challenge in mental health.”

Prof. Andrew Coogan
Lorna Lopez - Biology

Left to right: MU researchers Prof Andrew Coogan, Dr Lorna Lopez and Dr Cathy Wyse