Funding wins for The Ritchie Centre

Researchers from the Hudson Institute’s The Ritchie Centre have been successful in obtaining $30,000 in funding from the Jack Brockhoff Foundation for an important study that will investigate sleep apnoea in children with Down Syndrome.

Associate Professor Gillian Nixon and Prof Rosemary Horne were awarded the funding for their project, titled Optimising daytime functioning in children with Down Syndrome through the early identification of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea.

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is extremely common in children with Down Syndrome, but the condition is not normally investigated or treated as part of clinical care.

OSA can have a significant impact on the learning, behaviour, cardiovascular system and quality of life of developing children, but its effects are yet to be studied in children with Down Syndrome.

This study will provide a better understanding of the effects of OSA on the day-to-day lives of children with Down Syndrome, especially adaptive functioning (skills of daily living).

The early detection and appropriate treatment of OSA in children with Down Syndrome would help to maximise their potential and minimize cardiovascular problems in children with this condition.

Dr Lisa Walter has also been awarded funding by the Australian and New Zealand Children’s Haematology/Oncology Group (ANZCHOG) to organise a concept development workshop for the planning of her study on sleep in children with cancer.

Her project is titled Bright light therapy to improve sleep, reduce fatigue and improve the quality of life in children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia during maintenance treatment, with the workshop to allow interstate collaborators to meet and develop the concept and establish roles and responsibilities.

Dr Walter was also successful in obtaining a travel grant to attend the ANZCHOG conference in Cairns next June to present the preliminary findings of her study.