Research engineers and sleep medicine specialists from two Michigan universities have joined technical and clinical hands to put innovative quantitative analysis, signal-processing technology and computer algorithms to work in the sleep lab. One of their recent findings is that a new approach to analyzing sleep fragmentation appears to distinguish fibromyalgia patients from healthy controls.
Joseph W. Burns, a research scientist and engineer at the Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI); Ronald D. Chervin, director of the University of Michigan's Michael S. Aldrich Sleep Disorders Laboratory; and Leslie Crofford, director of the Center for the Advancement of Women's Health at the University of Kentucky, report the results of their study in the current issue of the journal Sleep Medicine.
MTRI, a freestanding research institute acquired by Michigan Technological University in 2006 and based in Ann Arbor, specializes in remote sensors that collect data, and in signal processing, using algorithms or computer programs to analyze and correlate the information the sensors gather. MTRI has developed an ongoing collaboration with the University of Michigan's sleep laboratory, one of the nation's leading clinical and research centers specializing in sleep medicine.
This several-year collaboration provided MTRI's first opportunities to apply quantitative analysis, remote sensing technology and computer algorithms to clinical challenges, said Burns. "In this case, our analyses of sleep stage dynamics suggest potential clinical relevance," he noted. Newly explored measures of sleep fragmentation seem to correlateat least in this studywith levels of pain reported by fibromyalgia patients.
Burns, who has a PhD in electrical engineering, finds that more and more of his research is taking a biomedical turn. He and his team are working with Chervin to use signal-processing technology to record and analyze the brain waves and biophy
|Contact: Jennifer Donovan|
Michigan Technological University