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2017 NEA Research Grants Focus on Sleep and Pain

Asian boys get up the morning

Pain and poor sleep – two symptoms common to people with atopic dermatitis. When these symptoms spin out of control, every part of one’s life is impacted.

To find out more about why and how pain and sleep problems affect people with atopic dermatitis, the National Eczema Association funded three studies in these areas as part of its 2017 Research Grant Program.

Meet our 2017 grantees:

Meltzer PhotoLisa Meltzer, Ph.D.
National Jewish Health
Impact of Atopic Dermatitis Treatment on Sleep and Functioning

This study looks at changes to subjective sleep quality (self-reported) and objective sleep quality (measured by a sleep device) for children following treatment for moderate to severe atopic dermatitis (AD). The sleep quality of the parents will also be tracked.

Researchers will also explore how severity of a child’s AD may affect behavior, mood, reasoning, memory, ability to pay attention, and quality of life for the child and parents.

The study is the first to look at how atopic dermatitis impacts the sleep and daytime functioning of both the parents and the affected child and how AD treatment may change these dynamics.

KatrinaAbuabaraSquareKatrina Abuabara, M.D.
University of California, San Francisco
The Association Between AD and Sleep Throughout Child and Adolescence: A longitudinal cohort study

Adequate sleep is critical for health and well being. Sleep disturbances are common in people with atopic dermatitis, yet little is known about how AD impacts sleep at different stages of a child’s life.

This study will look at data from infancy to adolescence of more than 14,000 people with atopic dermatitis. Researchers want to understand how AD may affect a child’s sleep at each developmental stage and if certain patterns in disease activity relate to poor sleep over the long-term. This information may help identify which children with AD are most likely to suffer from poor sleep and therefore would benefit from medical care.

Dr. Aaron Secrest Portrait 8.3.16Aaron Secrest, M.D., Ph.D.
University of Utah
Understanding Pain in Patients with Atopic Dermatitis

Stepping off from recent findings showing pain as a symptom of atopic dermatitis, this study seeks to determine how severe the pain is for people with AD, and how this pain affects other areas of their lives.

To determine the scope of pain from atopic dermatitis, study participants complete health assessments at each doctor’s visit — completing questions on pain, itch, sleep and quality of life. These patient-reported outcomes will be analyzed to determine how common and important pain is to people with AD. Armed with this information, researchers will conduct focus groups to explore the reasons for pain and how it affects the person with AD and their loved ones.

The NEA Research Grant program provides seed funding to scientists with innovative research leading to a increased understanding of eczema and its impact on those with the condition and their families.

This program is supported through donations by our community members. If you’d like to support our work to find better treatments and a cure for eczema, please donate to help support our research program.