Poor sleep quality may be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, a report presented at the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology annual meeting in Arizona has found today (Tuesday 9 December).
Ninety-eight cognitively healthy adults from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention participated. Participants reporting greater sleepiness showed a greater amyloid burden. Higher amyloid was also associated with reports of less restful sleep.
Dr Clare Walton, Research Manager at Alzheimer’s Society said:
‘This study adds to an existing body of research suggesting that poor quality sleep is associated with the build-up of amyloid plaques in the brain, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. However, while those who reported less restful sleep in this study were more likely to have amyloid in certain regions of their brain, we do not know whether this would be enough to cause cognitive decline or dementia.
‘Some elderly people have amyloid plaques in their brains but never go on to develop Alzheimer’s disease, so it is far too early to say whether the amount of sleep you regularly get is important in the development of dementia and those who have a bad night’s sleep should not worry. Take regular exercise, eat a healthy diet and avoid smoking to help keep your brain healthy.’