College of Education and Human Development

Department of Educational Psychology

Breanne Byiers and Alyssa Merbler present at the university's Rare Disease Day

Breanne Byiers, research assistant professor, and Alyssa Merbler, research associate, from the Department of Educational Psychology's special education program presented their research on Rett syndrome at the University's Rare Disease Day event on March 7.

Byiers' poster was titled "Utility of the iButtonĀ® for measurement of body temperature circadian rhythms in Rett syndrome" and Merbler's was titled "Actigraphy-Derived Sleep Health, Stability, and Associations with Clinical Features in Rett Syndrome." Clinical trials are currently underway for Rett syndrome, a rare genetic disorder, but use only proxy-report measures (e.g. parent report), or outcome measures with unknown psychometric properties. These posters presented evidence of directly-measured sleep health, circadian rhythm stability, and daily temperature patterns using in-home, non-invasive collection methods. The goal of their project is to establish reliability and validity evidence to develop and optimize these novel objective outcome measures to incorporate into clinical trials in this population.

Both of these presentations exhibited data from a project in collaboration with Gillette Children's and the Midwest Rett Syndrome Foundation and is funded, in part, by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.