Friday, 22 September, 2017

Your Health Study Suggests Link between Poor Sleep and Alzheimer's

Trouble Sleeping Linked to Alzheimer's Sleep Problems May Be Early Sign of Alzheimer's
Lance Thomas | 12 July, 2017, 00:07

A study has found that a lack of sleep over a prolonged period of time can increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

"Also, when we looked at their home sleep, the worse their sleep, the more their tau increased", Ju said.

She said: "The main concern is with people who have chronic sleep problems".

A single night's poor sleep can lead to a build-up of the proteins believed to be responsible for Alzheimer's. This is the toxic protein forming plaque in the brains of those with Alzheimer's.

If you're skipping out on a good night's sleep, you might want to reconsider it. However, for most, levels of both returned to normal relatively quickly.

"Because brain cells release amyloid beta during activity, we think if the brain cells can't rest the way they're supposed to and get that deep sleep, they produce a relative excess of amyloid", Dr. Yo-El Ju of Washington University, an author of that study, told Reuters.

In the study, 17 healthy men and women aged 35 to 65 years took part in two sets of procedures, about a month apart.

One limitation of the study was that sleep problems were self-reported. But in another session, a tone would wake them and prevent them from entering a slow-wave sleep stage. In the second session, slow-wave sleep was not interrupted.

Using a spinal tap, the researchers then measured amyloid beta and tau levels in the brain. Not getting enough sleep could limit that from happening as much as it should.

Now researchers say that poor sleep quality, and disruption of the deep, restful sleep known as slow-wave sleep, both play a key role. "All we can really say is that bad sleep increases levels of some proteins that are associated with Alzheimer's disease", she said.

Ju cautioned that it's not yet certain whether simply getting better sleep will improve your Alzheimer's prospects.

They pointed out that more sleep wouldn't necessarily decrease the risk of developing Alzheimer's, but it did seem that bad sleep could temporarily increase protein levels associated with the disease.

"It's still unclear if sleep may affect the development of the disease or if the disease affects the quality of sleep", says Bendlin. Each person rated the amount they slept, their quality of sleep and trouble in sleeping, along with daytime naps and drowsiness.

Carried out by the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the USA, the study adds to existing research which suggests sleep quality could be linked with the disease, CTV News reported.

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