Sleep­ing well can boost your chances of avoid­ing Alzheimer’s Dis­ease

Let's Talk - - HEALTH -

Poor sleep may in­crease the chances of peo­ple at risk of Alzheimer’s de­vel­op­ing the dis­ease, a study has shown.

Sci­en­tists con­ducted spinal fluid tests on 101 peo­ple with an av­er­age age of 63 who had a fam­ily his­tory of Alzheimer’s or car­ried a gene linked to the con­di­tion.

Par­tic­i­pants who re­ported the worse sleep qual­ity or suf­fered from day­time drowsi­ness had more bi­o­log­i­cal mark­ers for Alzheimer’s than those with­out sleep prob­lems.

The re­searchers looked for signs of beta-amy­loid, clumps of toxic brain pro­tein linked to Alzheimer’s, and “tau tan­gles”, knots of pro­tein within nerve cells also as­so­ci­ated with the dis­ease.

Lead sci­en­tist Dr Bar­bara Bendlin, from the Univer­sity of Wis­con­sin-Madi­son in the USA, said: “Pre­vi­ous ev­i­dence has shown that sleep may in­flu­ence the de­vel­op­ment or pro­gres­sion of Alzheimer’s dis­ease in var­i­ous ways.

“For ex­am­ple, dis­rupted sleep or lack of sleep may lead to amy­loid plaque build-up be­cause the brain’s clear­ance sys­tem kicks into ac­tion dur­ing sleep.

“Our study looked not only for amy­loid but for other bi­o­log­i­cal mark­ers in the spinal fluid as well.”

Not ev­ery­one with sleep prob­lems in the study had ab­nor­mal­i­ties in their spinal fluid, the re­searchers pointed out.

For ex­am­ple, there was no link be­tween bi­o­log­i­cal mark­ers for Alzheimer’s and ob­struc­tive sleep ap­noea.

The re­sults re­mained the same af­ter tak­ing into ac­count fac­tors such as med­i­ca­tion use for sleep prob­lems, level of ed­u­ca­tion, de­pres­sive symp­toms or body mass in­dex.

Dr Bendlin added: “It’s still un­clear if sleep may af­fect the de­vel­op­ment of the dis­ease or if the dis­ease af­fects the qual­ity of sleep.

“More re­search is needed to fur­ther de­fine the re­la­tion­ship be­tween sleep and th­ese biomark­ers.

“There are al­ready many ef­fec­tive ways to im­prove sleep.

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.