Genetic basis for obstructive sleep apnoea

There is a critical need for more information about the prevalence, phenotype and genetic basis of sleep disorders, particularly the three most common variants: obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), insomnia and restless legs syndrome/periodic leg movement syndrome (RLS/PLMS).

This research leverages off data already collected from participants of The Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study. Genetic data have been obtained for the 1,200 young adult participants of The Raine Study, many of whom have undergone comprehensive laboratory-based sleep studies and anthropometric measurements, seven-day/night actigraphy-based activity monitoring, cognitive function testing and questionnaires.

To explore the heritability of sleep disorders, we will collect genetic data, as well as equivalent sleep and activity data, from parents of the Raine Study participants. We aim to determine the prevalence of common sleep disorders (i.e., OSA, insomnia and RLS/PLMS) in a typical middle-aged Australian population-based cohort. By investigating familial associations between parent and offspring, we aim to identify phenotypic characteristics of common sleep disorders and determine the associations between parental and offspring phenotype to discover genetic risk variants associated with common sleep disorders.


This project is a collaborative effort between the The Raine Study, UWA School of Anatomy, Physiology and Human Biology (APHB), the West Australian Sleep Disorders Research Institute (WASDRI) at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and GOHaD.


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