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Introducing a Ground-Breaking New Institute at Boys Town National Research Hospital<img alt="Siemens Prisma MRI and next-generation MEG" src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/institute-human-neuroscience.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />https://www.boystownhospital.org/news/new-research-institute-for-human-neuroscienceIntroducing a Ground-Breaking New Institute at Boys Town National Research Hospital2021-03-29T05:00:00Z<p>​​Boys Town National Research Hospital® is revolutionizing child and teen brain research at the new <a href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/institute-human-neuroscience">Institute for Human Neuroscience</a>, which opened in March 2021. The Institute is in a brand-new 15,000+ square foot research facility specifically built for this group of researchers and their state-of-the-art equipment. As one of the most cutting-edge neuroscience research facilities in the nation, it includes a high-performance research-grade Siemens Prisma MRI and two next-generation MEG (magnetoencephalography) systems. </p><p> <a href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/faculty/tony-wilson">Tony Wilson, Ph.D.</a>, tapped to lead the new Institute, has also been named the Patrick E. Brookhouser Endowed Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience at Boys Town National Research Hospital.  </p><p>“One of the main reasons we came to Boys Town was the opportunity to build an incredible institute in an amazing environment. As the only site in the world with two next-generation MEG Neo systems, we'll have twice the capacity for major discoveries in pediatric neuroscience and neurotherapeutics and be able to impact the lives of children and families directly," said Wilson.</p><p>Wilson brings a team of almost 50 research scientists and staff who will work to understand how the brain changes as kids move through puberty and into young adulthood. The group will also study the impact of traumatic experiences on brain development and the brain changes associated with the emergence of psychiatric conditions like anxiety disorders, depression or schizophrenia. </p><p>The Institute of Human Neuroscience aligns directly with Boys Town's mission and growth of its Pediatric Neuroscience program. The emphasis will be on pediatric brain health and contribute directly to improved outcomes in children receiving care from our neurologists, neurosurgeons and behavioral health teams.  </p><p>For example, MEG is FDA-approved for use in identifying the focus of epileptic seizures. It creates the opportunity for neuroscience researchers to pinpoint the origin of such seizures, which can then be removed through surgery to maximize positive outcomes.</p><p>When the Institute is fully operational it will house nine to 10 different laboratories and 100 to 120 researchers, all under one roof. Each lab will focus on different sub-areas of human neuroscience using MRI, MEG and other state-of-the-art methods. Each laboratory will function independently, studying ​different disorders, different populations and different therapeutics.</p><p>“We're so excited to work in such a collaborative environment," noted Wilson. “We think it's going to give rise to a lot of​ great science that wouldn't have otherwise occurred."</p><p>“At Boys Town National Research Hospital our mission is to change the way America cares for children and families – and to do that, we've brought together the nation's best scientists to develop new and better treatments and intervention methods," said Ryan McCreery, Ph.D., Director of Boys Town Research. “Dr. Wilson and his team bring that expertise in neuroscience. What is learned in the lab will directly apply to our clinical care so that more children and families can benefit from this life-changing research."</p><div class="embed-container"> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ylxUx2KtfCU" title="YouTube video player" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div>
Tony W. Wilson, Ph.D., Named Patrick E. Brookhouser Endowed Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience<img alt="Tony Wilson" src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/wilson-tony_rollup.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />https://www.boystownhospital.org/news/tony-wilson-patrick-brookhouser-endowed-chair-cognitive-neuroscienceTony W. Wilson, Ph.D., Named Patrick E. Brookhouser Endowed Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience2021-03-28T05:00:00Z<p> <a href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/faculty/tony-wilson">Tony W. Wilson, Ph.D.</a>, Director of the new <a href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/institute-human-neuroscience">Institute for Human Neuroscience at Boys Town National Research Hospital</a>, has been named the first recipient of the Patrick E. Brookhouser Endowed Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience. </p><p>Dr. Wilson is nationally recognized for his work utilizing neuroimaging to investigate typical and atypical brain development and use those findings to predict long-term outcomes and derive therapeutics.  He brings a team of almost 50 research scientists and staff who will work to understand how the brain changes as kids move through puberty and into young adulthood, which is obviously a period of major cognitive and emotional change.</p><p>Translating research to improve lives has been at the core of Boys Town Hospital since opening in 1977. Founding hospital director, Patrick E. Brookhouser, M.D. was a gifted physician and surgeon, and dedicated his life to being a steward of Father Flanagan's dream to help children. He was recognized across the U.S. for the ground-breaking research he initiated in the treatment and prevention of hearing loss and other communication disorders.  </p><p>“One of the unique things about holding the Brookhouser Endowed Chair is that I was fortunate enough to meet him when I first moved to Omaha", said Wilson. “Brookhouser believed that ground-breaking research wasn't enough. The findings need to be used to improve medical care and make lives better for children and families. One of the main reasons we came to Boys Town was the opportunity to build an incredible institute in an amazing environment to directly impact the lives of children and families. Boys Town has the infrastructure and a history of doing things like this and we are excited to carry on this critical mission. I think Dr. Brookhouser would have been excited about the unique opportunities that this Institute presents for pediatric brain health."</p><p>The Institute for Human Neuroscience is in a brand-new 15,000+ square foot research facility specifically built for this group of researchers and their state-of-the-art equipment. As one of the most cutting-edge neuroscience research facilities in the nation it includes a high-performance research-grade Siemens Prisma MRI and two next-generation MEG (magnetoencephalography) systems.</p>
Boys Town Leads National Research Efforts with Twice the Capacity for Major Discoveries in Pediatric Neuroscience<img alt="MEG w/Tony Wilson and Ryan McCreery" src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/meg-ryan-tony.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />https://www.boystownhospital.org/news/boys-town-leads-research-efforts-in-pediatric-neuroscienceBoys Town Leads National Research Efforts with Twice the Capacity for Major Discoveries in Pediatric Neuroscience2021-03-27T05:00:00Z<p> <em>​​“As the only site in the world with two next-generation MEG Neo systems, we'll have twice the capacity for major discoveries in pediatric neuroscience and </em> <em>neurotherapeutics</em><em> and be able to directly impact the lives of children and families. Boys Town has the infrastructure and a history of doing things like this and we are excited to carry on this critical mission," said </em> <a href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/faculty/tony-wilson"> <em>Tony Wilson, Ph.D.</em></a><em>, Director of the </em> <a href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/institute-human-neuroscience"> <em>Institute for Human Neuroscience</em></a><em> and Patrick E. Brookhouser Endowed Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience. </em></p><p>MEG (magnetoencephalography) is unique in that it can see what is happening in the brain at a very fast millisecond level – meaning that it will allow researchers to image the brain at the speed of thought. With MEG, it is possible to see thoughts and sensations evolving in the brain as one processes their environment.</p><p>“In some of our MEG experiments, we show individuals a picture of a word, then we can watch the portion of their brain that controls vision activate or light up," said Wilson.  “And from there, we can watch it progress through the brain and activate different regions as the person sounds out the word, then understands the meaning of the word, and then vocalizes the word."</p><p>MEG technology uses highly sensitive magnetic sensors that are configured into a helmet to measure brain function. The helmet is comfortable, and participants are typically seated with their head within the helmet throughout the study. MEG studies are noninvasive, totally quiet, and are often a better fit for children than an MRI given the comfort factor.</p><p>An example of a practical application is for patients who have brain tumors. In the case of a brain tumor, surgery is performed to remove the tumor. But outcomes are much better if important functions such as the motor control of hands, feet and face can be accurately mapped. Further, mapping the location of the person’s language function with MEG can help ensure the patient does not have a major language deficit following the surgery. The MEG map of these essential functions is passed on to the neurosurgeon so that these parts of the brain can be spared to the extent possible during the surgery.<br></p><p>The <a href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/institute-human-neuroscience">Institute for Human Neuroscience</a> is one of the most cutting-edge neuroscience research facilities in the nation, and includes a high-performance research-grade Siemens Prisma MRI, two next-gene​ration MEG systems, a mock Prisma MRI scanner, and other state-of-the-art instruments for human neuroscience research. This technology supports the work of the research team to define normal brain development in children and identify the impact of traumatic experiences on brain development, as well as the brain changes associated with the emergence of psychiatric conditions like anxiety disorders, depression or schizophrenia.</p><h2>What is MEG (magnetoencephalography)?</h2><div class="embed-container"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2JS3wY0qAhs" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div><h2>Cutting-Edge Neuroscience Technology</h2><div class="embed-container"><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/x_fc4n6CwKE" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div>
Building a Center of Excellence in Neuroscience Research<img alt="Boys Town West Hospital" src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/btnrh-aerial-hospital-west.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />https://www.boystownhospital.org/news/boys-town-builds-center-of-excellence-for-neuroscience-researchBuilding a Center of Excellence in Neuroscience Research2021-03-27T05:00:00Z<p>​​With the opening of The Institute for Human Neuroscience, Boys Town National Research Hospital is setting the pace for neuroscience research. </p><p>Unlike an already existing research center, the faculty at the Institute for Human Neuroscience had lots of input into creating this unique new workspace. They worked with the architects to make the building fit their vision for the best way to have patients and instruments all in the same spaces. Part of the plan was to develop a lab that would allow epilepsy patients to have a MEG and an MRI all in one visit. And having a research institute directly onsite means translating research to improve care can happen at a faster rate and help change the way America cares for children and families, everywhere.</p><p>“One of the main reasons we came to Boys Town was the opportunity to build an incredible institute in an amazing environment," said Wilson. “As the only site in the world with two next-generation MEG Neo systems, we'll have twice the capacity for major discoveries in pediatric neuroscience and neurotherapeutics and be able to directly impact the lives of children and families. Boys Town has the infrastructure and a history of doing things like this and we are excited to carry on this critical mission."</p><p>Also unique to this field of study is the work environment at Boys Town. When the Institute is fully operational it will house nine to ten different laboratories and between 100 to 120 researchers, all under one roof. Each of these labs will focus on different sub-areas of human neuroscience using MRI, MEG, and other state-of-the-art methods.</p><p>“All of us are different, we're experts in different things, and the niche that we know better than anything else is unique amongst all of us. We're excited to work in such a collaborative environment," noted Wilson. “We think it's going to give rise to a lot of great science that wouldn't have otherwise occurred."</p><h2>Six Neuroscience Research Labs…and Growing</h2><p>The breadth of study available from the moment the Institute opens will be impressive. With six key labs already conducting research on Boys Town campus with room to grow. </p><p>The <a href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/institute-human-neuroscience/dicon">Dynamic Imaging of Cognition & Neuromodulation (<strong>DICoN</strong>) Laboratory</a>v uses multimodal brain imaging to investigate the neural dynamics that underlie visual processing, attention and motor control in children and adults. A key goal is to determine how these brain dynamics predict cognitive performance in real time.</p><p>The primary aim of the <a href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/institute-human-neuroscience/brain-architecture-imaging-cognition">Brain Architecture, Imaging and Cognition (<strong>BrAIC</strong>) Laboratory</a> is to investigate the architecture of the brain and its association with cognition in health and disease, using a combination of behavioral and neuroimaging techniques. The goal is to use an integrative approach to map the brain networks that support cognitive abilities, and understand how different factors, such as age, environment and disorders, impact their interactions. </p><p>The <a href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/institute-human-neuroscience/power">Physiology of Walking & Engineering Rehabilitation (<strong>PoWER)</strong> Laboratory</a> primarily focuses on how humans process/attend to sensory information, produce motor actions and learn new motor skills. The laboratory uses a blend of MEG/EEG neuroimaging and advanced biomechanical engineering analyses. The outcomes are directed at the development of new technologies for rehabilitation and therapeutic approaches for improving the mobility of patients with developmental disabilities. </p><p>The <a href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/institute-human-neuroscience/developmental-clinical-neuroscience">Developmental Clinical Neuroscience (<strong>DCN</strong>) Laboratory</a> seeks to better understand how serious behavioral problems, particularly aggression, dev​elop and to better understand why trauma and PTSD play a large role triggering serious behavioral problem in some, but not all, youth. The lab examines changes in the brain and in endocrine function (hormones) and how those changes can lead to understanding the origins of serious behavioral problems.</p><p>The overarching goals of the <a href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/institute-human-neuroscience/casi">Cognitive and Sensory Imaging <span><span>(<strong>CASI</strong>)</span></span> Laboratory</a> are to understand the interactions between sensory experience and higher-order cognition such as working memory and executive function, and to characterize what these interactions look like in the brain. Current research focuses on the impact of hearing loss, and the quality and frequency of subsequent hearing interventions, on cognitive and neural development in children and adolescents.</p><p>The <a href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/institute-human-neuroscience/neurodiversity"><strong>Neurodiversity</strong> Laboratory</a> is dedicated to studying individual variability in neurocognitive development during childhood and adolescence. Development is a dynamic process that is continually modulated by one's environment and experiences. This lab uses advanced statistical modeling techniques and cutting-edge neuroimaging to explain the complex interactions between brain, behavior and environment, with the goal of producing knowledge that helps families and individuals thrive.  </p><div class="embed-container"><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/5DsvdsZIqeA" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div>
Physical Therapy May Hold the Key to Brain-Based Changes in Adults with Cerebral Palsy<img alt="Cerebral Graphic" src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/cerebral-graphic_rollup.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />https://www.boystownhospital.org/news/physical-therapy-for-adults-with-cerebral-palsyPhysical Therapy May Hold the Key to Brain-Based Changes in Adults with Cerebral Palsy2021-03-26T05:00:00Z<p>A recent study conducted by the <a href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/institute-human-neuroscience/power">Power of Walking & Engineering Rehabilitation (PoWER) Laboratory</a>, part of the Boys Town National Research Hospital® Institute for Human Neuroscience, used MEG (magnetoencephalography) imaging to study the brain activity of people with cerebral palsy to sensations applied to the leg.  </p><p>“This study measures what happens as individuals move into adulthood, which is a critical window that changes their mobility and motor actions," said <a href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/faculty/max-kurz">Max Kurz, Ph.D.</a>, director of the PoWER Laboratory. “What we've found is that when those sensations are applied, the brain is not as active as it is for the general population."</p><p>As people age, they do not register sensations as acutely as when they were younger. This study finds that the population with cerebral palsy has an accelerated downward trajectory in their nervous system. Essentially, people with cerebral palsy have nervous systems that age faster. </p><p>That can have detrimental effects on the lives of patients with cerebral palsy since even everyday activities like the ability to button a shirt or brush their teeth can become difficult.</p><p>“So, we've identified these deficits," said Kurz. “Now the question is how we alter them? How can we make the decline not so steep so that it becomes more normalized and maybe their nervous system doesn't age as fast?" </p><p>Currently, the PoWER lab uses physical therapy for patients with cerebral palsy to keep sensations flowing to the brain, improving the brain's flexibility and maintaining its ability to register sensations. </p><p>For example, if you sit in a chair all day long, your muscle tone diminishes. If people with cerebral palsy move less as they enter adulthood, their brain loses tactile acuity, which makes registering sensations even more difficult. The effects of this loss can be spiraling. The less confident a person is in their ability to read sensations, the less likely they are to move and the more out-of-practice the brain becomes at interpreting the signals it does get.</p><p>“We've done a small study which is physical therapy-based. And what we're seeing is that the brain's reactivity and registry of sensations is improved," said Kurz. “ We're looking to start a larger clinical research project soon that will champion the use of physical therapy. We hope to understand the key ingredients for making these brain-based changes."</p><p>For more information about the study just published, visit: <a href="https://doi.org/10.1113/JP280400" target="_blank">https://doi.org/10.1113/JP280400</a></p>
Boys Town National Research Hospital & Rush University Medical Center Receive a Shared NIH Research Grant<img alt="classroom" src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/classroom_rollup.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />https://www.boystownhospital.org/news/nih-research-grant-awarded-to-boys-town-rush-universityBoys Town National Research Hospital & Rush University Medical Center Receive a Shared NIH Research Grant2021-03-18T05:00:00Z<p>​Anyone who has ever spent time in a highly interactive school environment knows how noisy all that input and feedback can be.  </p><p>That's why researchers <a href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/faculty/katherine-gordon">Katherine Gordon, Ph.D.</a>, Research Scientist in the Center for Childhood Deafness, Language and Learning at Boys Town National Research Hospital®, and Tina Grieco-Calub, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Rush University Medical Center, are studying how constant noise affects children's ability to learn and retain new words. This work is being funded by a grant through the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).</p><div style="width:500px;margin:0px auto;display:table;"><div style="display:table-row;text-align:center;"> <span style="display:table-cell;"><img src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/Gordon-Katherine.jpg" alt="" style="border-radius:8px;width:200px;" /></span><span style="display:table-cell;"><img src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/GriecoCalub-Tina.jpg" alt="" style="border-radius:8px;width:200px;" /></span></div><div style="display:table-row;text-align:center;"><p style="display:table-cell;text-align:center;">Katherine Gordon, Ph.D.</p><p style="display:table-cell;text-align:center;"> Tina Grieco-Calub, Ph.D.</p></div></div><h2>A New Focus Brings New Collaboration</h2><p>Boys Town Hospital has been a leader in childhood hearing research since its inception in 1977. In recent years, interdisciplinary research questions on the relation between hearing and language arose. As a result, a team of language researchers was assembled to complement the team of hearing researchers, leading to many collaborative projects. </p><p>“In 2017, Boys Town National Research Hospital began building a program devoted to research in language science. Dr. Gordon was our first hire, and she continues to be an essential part of that program. Her newly funded project with Dr. Grieco-Calub marries our more recent focus on language with our traditional focus on hearing. I can't imagine a better team for advancing our understanding of the effect of noise on children's language learning," explained <a href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/faculty/karla-mcgregor">Karla McGregor, Ph.D.</a>, and Director at the Center for Childhood Deafness, Language and Learning at Boys Town Hospital.</p><p>The two researchers were introduced by Lori Leibold, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Hearing Research at Boys Town Hospital, who felt that their unique sets of skills would work well together. </p><p>“After learning of their research interests, I told both that I thought they should meet. Dr. Grieco-Calub visited Boys Town National Research Hospital in person and we set up a meeting between Katie [Dr. Gordon] and Tina [Dr. Grieco-Calub]. The rest is history," recalls Leibold. Leibold serves as a consultant on the grant.</p><h2> Language and Noise</h2><p>Language learning is an established field, but for years it has not included the noise component. Research has been primarily conducted in quiet settings. On the other side is hearing science, which has mostly focused on how people perceive words they already know, not how they learn new words in noisy environments. Both fields have gaps in knowledge, and Gordon and Grieco-Calub are targeting those gaps together to figure out how children learn new words in noisy environments.  </p><h2> Noise and Environment</h2><p>Different types of environments contain different types of background noise. This grant will allow Boys Town Hospital and Rush University Medical Center to look at how those different types and intensities of noise affect word learning. For example, in a classroom, there might be a fan running and kids talking in the background; right now, the effects of these factors on new language acquisition are unknown. </p><p>Children live, play and learn in environments that are often noisy. To understand language development, it is essential to understand how children learn language in different types of noise. Furthermore, there are some children who may particularly struggle with learning language in noise, such as children who are hard-of-hearing and children with language disorders. This study's long-term goal is to determine factors that can be changed to support word learning in the typical classroom environment. This should benefit all children, but especially benefit children who are strongly affected by the noise in their environments. </p><p>For more information on the study parameters, see <a href="https://projectreporter.nih.gov/project_info_description.cfm?aid=10052623&icde=53119606&ddparam=&ddvalue=&ddsub=&cr=2&csb=default&cs=ASC&pball=" target="_blank">Effects of background noise on word learning in preschool-age children</a>. As this study progresses, watch for Boys Town Hospital and Rush University Medical Center to publish additional updates. </p>
Do You Run Down the Mountain or Descend? That All Depends on Your Native Language!<img alt="BTNRH Logo" src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/BTNRH-logo-830x430.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />https://www.boystownhospital.org/news/run-down-mountain-or-descendDo You Run Down the Mountain or Descend? That All Depends on Your Native Language!2021-03-18T05:00:00Z<p>​Have you ever wondered why a foreign language may sound “wrong" when you've translated it into English?  It's because that language may express certain parts of speech differently. Different groups of languages use verbs to express different aspects of motion, and the people who speak these different languages <span style="text-decoration:underline;">expect</span> to hear motion described in a certain way. </p><p> <img src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/SamanthaEmersonLecture.png" alt="Samantha Emerson Lecture" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin:5px;width:285px;height:445px;" />Samantha Emerson, Ph.D., conducted a study focused on what listeners' expectations were for the expression of motion. For example, what does an English speaker expect to hear, versus what a Spanish speaker expects to hear, when discussing someone headed down the mountain? </p><p>An English speaker expects the manner of the motion (or how the motion verb is carried out) to be included in the verb or come first, hence, the phrase “run down the mountain." 'Run' describes how the subject is moving (the manner), and 'down' describes where the subject is moving (or, the path of the verb). A Spanish speaker, on the other hand, expects the path to be the important part; therefore, a phrase like “descend the mountain running" is used.  'Descend' tells us where the subject is going (the path), and 'running' tells us how the subject is moving (the manner).</p><p>“The important thing about this paper is it's the first one to show that not only do we talk about motion differently, but it effects the way we <span style="text-decoration:underline;">think</span> about motion, even though physical motions happen the same way regardless," noted Emerson, who is now a researcher at the Center for Childhood Deafness, Language and Learning at Boys Town National Research Hospital®. </p><p>The answers to these questions are important. The findings from this research could eventually help those trying to learn a second language. It could also assist people with developmental language disorder in understanding patterns beyond the basic rules of grammar in their native language. </p><p>“They tell us something about learning a new language," said Emerson. “Learning to speak a language fluently involves more than just the rules of grammar. This (study) provides a neural basis for observations about how we prefer to talk about motion, but also affects how easy it is to process other people's speech."</p><p>Learn how the researchers created this <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0028393220303109" target="_blank">fascinating study</a>.</p>
Lockdowns Increase Insomnia and Jeopardize Mental Health<img alt="woman in bed looking at clock" src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/covid-isolation-study_rollup.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />https://www.boystownhospital.org/news/research-lockdowns-insomnia-mental-healthLockdowns Increase Insomnia and Jeopardize Mental Health2021-03-10T06:00:00Z<p>At the end of March 2020, more than 1.3 billion people in India entered a stringent 21-day lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. </p><p> <a href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/faculty/sahil-bajaj">Sahil Bajaj, Ph.D.</a>, Director of the Multimodal Clinical Neuroimaging Laboratory (MCNL) at the <a href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/neurobehavioral">Center for Neurobehavioral Research</a> at Boys Town National Research Hospital®, saw the need to quickly study how this would affect Indian residents' sleep health and how that could relate to millions of people across the world who were experiencing the same lockdown conditions.</p><p>The study looked at gender, age, income level and how worried respondents were about becoming ill using a Worry Scale, a Sleep-Quality Scale, and a Depression Symptom Scale. Residents completed the scales only during the weeks of lockdown. </p><p>A hefty 53% of respondents rated themselves as having low to severe insomnia during the COVID-19 lockdown.</p><p>Bajaj and his team wanted to make sure the insomnia was related to the COVID-19 pandemic and wasn't simply a pre- existing condition. The researchers considered that typically, 18.6% of the population suffers from insomnia, meaning that 34% of the insomnia reported could be directly related to the COVID-19 lockdown.</p><p>“People get worried. Worry leads to insomnia. Insomnia leads to depression. Our conclusion was if we can improve people's sleep during this pandemic situation, then that can lead to better mental health and less depression," said Bajaj.</p><p>Unfortunately, sleep studies tied to the pandemic have received little attention. </p><p>“It is very difficult to treat depression, so it's better if people understand that poor sleep and depression are related to each other," noted Bajaj. “The more we can raise awareness of this relationship, the more likely we are to create a positive impact on mental health during the pandemic."</p><p> <em>To find out which groups of people suffered the most insomnia, click the link below and read Dr. Bajaj's complete study.</em></p><p> <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0243527" target="_blank">https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0243527</a></p>