Poor sleep linked to Alzheimer’s

A study of older people published in the journal Neurology reveals a link between sleep disturbances and biological markers for Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers studied 101 people with an average age of 63 who all completed sleep questionnaires and underwent other tests, such as spinal fluid analysis for indicators of plaques and tangles associated with Alzheimer’s.

The study found that poor sleep quality, daytime sleepiness and other sleep problems do contribute to higher risk of Alzheimer’s.

It is believed that during sleep time, the brain clears toxic proteins that would otherwise form plaque on the brain.

However, not all sleep problems contribute to Alzheimer’s, with researchers finding no correlation between cognitive decline and obstructive sleep apnoea.

“Not everyone with sleep problems is destined to develop Alzheimer’s disease,” said senior study author Associate Professor Barbara B. Bendlin.

“We’re looking at groups of people, and over the whole group we find the association of poor sleep with the markers of Alzheimer’s. But when you look at individuals, not everyone shows that pattern.

“It may be possible that early intervention for people at risk of Alzheimer’s disease may prevent or delay the onset of the disease,” she said.

How do you sleep at night? Do you have any tips to help our members get more quality sleep?

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