Saturday, 30 March 2013

Sleep Disturbances Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

Sleep Disturbances Linked to 
Alzheimer's Disease
By Diderique Konig
Thu, Mar 28, 2013

Adults who have certain sleep quality disturbances may be experiencing 
very early signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

One study published on was conducted by 
Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and “studied 
142 cognitively normal people, ages 45 and older, taking part in 
long-term studies of memory and aging.”

Researchers studied the amount of time spent in bed and the actual 
amount of sleep people got each night for two weeks.

Researchers discovered that participants who had high levels of beta-
amyloid42 in the cerebrospinal fluid were at an increased risk for 
amyloid depositions.

Amyloid depositions have been linked to the development of 
Alzheimer’s disease. According to ScienceNow, “In both humans and 
mice, levels of a peptide called amyloid-? rise during waking hours and 
decline during sleep, researchers have found. They also report that 
sleep-deprived mice are more prone to developing deposits of amyloid?
called plaques, like those found in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. 
Although far from proven, the finding suggests that sleep disorders 
could be a risk factor for Alzheimer's.”

While Amyloid-? is found naturally in the brain, an abundance of this 
molecule may lead to Alzheimer’s later on in life.

In studies, sleep deprivation raised the levels of amyloid-? molecules 
and created more clusters of this molecule in the brain.

“Experiments at Washington University showed that nocturnal mice slept 
for 40 minutes during every hour of daylight. However, as soon brain 
plaques started to form the mice were sleeping for only 30 minutes.The 
findings suggest that people who are chronically sleep deprived may 
have higher levels of amyloid-? that make them more susceptible to 
Alzheimer's disease,” according to a BBC News article.

Sleep patterns in Alzheimer’s patients are often already affected and 
tend to get worse as the disease advances, so taking proper precautions 
is key.

In those people already diagnosed with the disease, sleep disturbances 
can be caused by factors such as anxiety, depression, restless leg 
syndrome, or even having inadequate lighting in the room.

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