Yeonsu Song, PhD, RN, FNP-C is an Assistant Professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and is fully committed to becoming an independently-funded investigator specializing in sleep in individuals with cognitive impairments such as Alzheimer?s disease (AD) and their caregivers. She has a particular interest in testing a dyadic sleep intervention program for Alzheimer?s disease patients and their informal caregivers. Dr. Song?s unique background makes her an ideal candidate for this field of research. She has fellowship training in advanced geriatrics, and has board certification in advanced practice nursing as a family nurse practitioner. She is currently supported by an Advanced Fellowship in Geriatrics through the Veterans Affairs (VA) Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC). Career development and training plan: This plan features an outstanding research and educational environment at UCLA, with nationally renowned expert mentors. Her primary mentoring team is comprised of Drs. Jennifer Martin (expert in behavioral sleep interventions), Cathy Alessi (expert in sleep medicine), Michael Irwin (expert in inflammatory factors and sleep), and Edmond Teng (expert in assessment of AD). She will also draw on resources available through UCLA?s CTSI, UCLA?s Multicampus Program in Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, UCLA?s Claude D. Pepper Center, and the GRECC. Her training plan features carefully curated coursework and hands-on training experiences, all aligned with her training goals. Research plan: The proposed research is hypothesis-driven and guided by preliminary data from Dr. Song?s VA-funded pilot study and existing behavioral sleep intervention methods. During the past 2 years of her fellowship, she has developed a dyadic sleep intervention program. In phase 1 (Aim 1), she will iteratively refine and finalize the intervention program targeting both members of the dyad (patients and caregivers) by evaluating acceptability and usability. In phase 2 (Aims 2-4) she will pilot test the program effects by assessing sleep, health, and quality of life in both members of the group using a small randomized controlled trial design, with the main analyses focused on caregiver outcomes. The intervention program will involve five sessions, including 4 home visits and one telephone session. It will include manualized sleep hygiene recommendations and a behavioral sleep intervention including sleep compression therapy. A unique aspect of the proposed work is that the program is tailored to address sleep problems of both patients and caregivers, and includes upstream biomarkers to evaluate a key mechanism of intervention benefits that can be further explored in future research. Skills developed from executing this training and research plan will enable Dr. Song to become an independent researcher and a leader in research on managing sleep in AD patients and their caregivers, with the goal of improving their health and quality of life.

Public Health Relevance

Poor sleep in both Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients and their caregivers is associated with adverse health outcomes, and increases risk of institutionalization in individuals with AD. This proposal will pilot test an innovative sleep intervention targeting both groups simultaneously. Improved sleep in AD patients and their caregivers may improve health and quality of life, and may prevent or delay admission of AD patients to institutional settings, potentially leading to decreased healthcare costs.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23)
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Neuroscience of Aging Review Committee (NIA)
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Onken, Lisa
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University of California Los Angeles
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
Los Angeles
United States
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Fung, Constance H; Martin, Jennifer L; Josephson, Karen et al. (2018) Cognitive Expectancies for Hypnotic Use among Older Adult Veterans with Chronic Insomnia. Clin Gerontol 41:130-135
Song, Yeonsu; McCurry, Susan M; Fung, Constance H et al. (2018) Sleep and Caregiving Experiences among Caregivers of Veterans in an Adult Day Health Care Program: A Pilot Study. Clin Gerontol 41:167-171
Song, Yeonsu; Washington, Donna L; Yano, Elizabeth M et al. (2018) Caregiving-Related Sleep Problems and Their Relationship to Mental Health and Daytime Function in Female Veterans. Behav Sleep Med 16:371-379
Hughes, Jaime M; Song, Yeonsu; Fung, Constance H et al. (2018) Measuring Sleep in Vulnerable Older Adults: A Comparison of Subjective and Objective Sleep Measures. Clin Gerontol 41:145-157
Song, Yeonsu; Harrison, Stephanie L; Martin, Jennifer L et al. (2017) Changes in Caregiving Status and Intensity and Sleep Characteristics Among High and Low Stressed Older Women. J Clin Sleep Med 13:1403-1410
Dzierzewski, Joseph M; Song, Yeonsu; Fung, Constance H et al. (2015) Self-reported sleep duration mitigates the association between inflammation and cognitive functioning in hospitalized older men. Front Psychol 6:1004