Science researchers at the University of Pittsburgh recently published a study that found that patients suffering from SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder – had misconceptions about sleep similar to those of insomniacs that prevent them from sleeping soundly at night. According to a University of Pittsburgh news article, the paper was titled “The Role of Beliefs and Attitudes About Sleep in Seasonal and Nonseasonal Mood Disorder, and Nondepressed Controls” and was published in the Journal of Affective Disorders this May.
Kathryn Roecklein, the study’s primary investigator and an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Psychology, interviewed 147 adults between the ages of 18 and 65 and collected data through questionnaires. Roecklein and her team conducted clinical interviews as well, and they found that patients with SAD held a number of “unhelpful beliefs” similar to insomniacs that play a significant role in sleep cognition. The researchers’ data suggests that addressing these beliefs about sleep through therapy could help improve treatment for SAD. Cognitive behavioral therapy in particular could help patients take control of their sleep habits, mood, behavior and emotions.
“We predict that about 750,000 people in the Pittsburgh metro area suffer from seasonal affective disorder, making this an important issue for our community and the economic strength and vitality of our city,” said Roecklein. “If we can properly treat this disorder, we can significantly lower the number of sufferers in our city.”
University of Pittsburgh
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
The University of Pittsburgh conducts a great deal of groundbreaking studies in many science research fields, including the life sciences. Lab suppliers interested in increasing scientific product sales leads and marketing university lab equipment may also be interested to know that the University of Pittsburgh is one of the most highly-funded markets in the country. According to 2012 NIH and NSF research funding statistics, the University of Pittsburgh was awarded at least $444.2 million in research funding. The university received $430 million in from the NIH in 2012. This money was distributed among various research projects across the life sciences. Some of the departments receiving funding included anatomy and cell biology, biology, biomedical engineering, biostatistics, chemistry, internal medicine, microbiology and pharmacology. The department receiving the most research funding was internal medicine, which received 191 awards totaling $93.6 million. For a full list of departments receiving funding organized by department name, number of awards received and total funding awarded, please visit the NIH website.
In addition to the $430 million the University of Pittsburgh received from the NIH, the NSF awarded the University of Pittsburgh $24.7 million in 2012. The projects awarded research funding were conducted in departments as various as developmental systems, molecular biophysics, evolutionary processes, genetic mechanisms, global systems science, cellular dynamics and function, physiology and structural systems, bio informatics and neural systems. Projects in the life sciences were awarded $3.3 million in total.
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