Better Sleep May Be Incredibly Important to Alzheimer’s Risk
HEALTH, 27 Jul 2015
Disrupted sleep may be one of the missing pieces in explaining how Alzheimer’s starts its damage long before people have trouble with memory.
21 Jul 2015 – To sleep, perchance to… ward off Alzheimer’s? New research suggests poor sleep may increase people’s risk of Alzheimer’s disease, by spurring a brain-clogging gunk that in turn further interrupts shut-eye.
Disrupted sleep may be one of the missing pieces in explaining how a hallmark of Alzheimer’s, a sticky protein called beta-amyloid, starts its damage long before people have trouble with memory, researchers reported Monday [20 Jul] at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.
“It’s very clear that sleep disruption is an underappreciated factor,” said Dr. Matthew Walker of the University of California, Berkeley, who presented data linking amyloid levels with people’s sleep and memory performance. “It’s a new player on the scene that increases risk of Alzheimer’s disease.”
Sleep problems are treatable – and a key next question is whether improving sleep can make a difference in protecting seniors’ brains.
“Sleep is a modifiable factor. It’s a new treatment target,” Walker said.
Enough sleep is important for good health generally – seven to eight hours a night are recommended for adults. When it comes to the brain, scientists have long known that people who don’t get enough have trouble learning and focusing. And anyone who’s cared for someone with dementia knows the nightly wandering and other sleep disturbances that patients often suffer, long thought to be a consequence of the dying brain cells.
DISCLAIMER: In accordance with title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. TMS has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is TMS endorsed or sponsored by the originator. “GO TO ORIGINAL” links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted may not match the versions our readers view when clicking the “GO TO ORIGINAL” links. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.