What happens in the study?

Each year we may ask you to complete:

► Annual interview

► Brief mid-year interview

► Puzzles & games

► MRI scan

Click here for more information about Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

The length and content of these tasks will vary based on your age and year in the study.

How should I prepare for my appointment?

To prepare for your appointment, please do not drink alcohol or use drugs for 72 hours before your appointment time. Please also refrain from drinking any caffeinated beverages for 6 hours before your appointment.

Overnight Sleep Study at SRI International and University of Pittsburgh

If you are a participant at SRI International or the University of Pittsburgh, you will also be asked to participate in overnight sleep recording sessions.You will be asked to sleep one to three separate nights in a sleep research laboratory. One of these nights may be replaced with monitoring of sleep at your home. You may be asked to wear a small activity monitor, similar to a wristwatch, to measure the amount of movement you make during the day and night, for a few days before each overnight recording.

In order to record information about the way you sleep in the laboratory, several electrodes (small disks which pick up body signals and brain activity) or an elastic lycra cap (like a swim cap) with electrodes attached will be worn. Electrodes will also be taped to the face, chest and arm. These electrodes will be used to monitor brain waves, heart and muscle activity during sleep. Small cuffs may also be placed around two fingers of one hand to allow measurement of blood pressure during the night. To monitor breathing on the first night, bands will be worn around the chest and abdomen, and small tubes placed near the nostrils. You will wear soft foam earplugs that sit comfortably in the ear canal. The earplugs are similar to iPod earphones that fit into the ears. Sound is delivered to the plugs via flexible plastic tubes, which run approximately 12 inches from small electronic amplifiers. You will go to sleep at your usual bedtime. Sounds will be played while you sleep. They are very brief and not loud enough to wake you up. You will be allowed to sleep until you naturally wake up.