Is it difficult for you to get up to bed every morning even if you have slept many hours? It could be a sign of dementia
Scientists have found that people who normally pass a long time sleeping they have the twice as likely to develop dementia for the next decade.
An early warning sign of Alzheimer's
A change in sleep patterns is a warning sign for Alzheimer's, as it indicates that the brain, which controls wakefulness, has been damaged.
For this reason, people with dementia have unusual sleep patterns.
The new study supports this idea, and suggests that changes in sleep could be obvious a lot before of which characteristic symptoms of Alzheimer's, such as memory loss, start to appear.
Sleeping many hours each night would be a early neurodegeneration marker and therefore a useful clinical tool to identify those with a increased risk of developing dementia.
More than 2,400 patients, with an average age of 72 years, who were asked how long did they sleep each night. In the 10 years that the study lasted, there were 234 cases of dementia.
They found that sleep during more than 9 hours:
- Doubled the risk of all types of dementia, and specifically of Alzheimer's
- He was associated with a lower brain volume
- Increased the time required to process information
- Signs of memory loss appeared
Sleep disturbances: A symptom rather than a cause
Sleep has a restorative function. During sleep the removal of metabolic waste from the brain, so it prevents the accumulation of B-amyloid protein, the hallmark of Alzheimer's disease.
The atrophy of brain regions involved in sleep and wakefulness, or some of the mood disorders, which are common in dementia, can trigger somesleep disorders.
The inability to wake up each morning is a symptom rather than cause of the brain changes that lead to dementia. For this reason, simply reducing the length of sleep time is unlikely to reduce a person's risk of Alzheimer's.
Westwood AJ, Beiser A, Jain N, Himali JJ, DeCarli C, Auerbach SH, et al. Neurology (2017). More information.
- Alzheimer's and sleep quality
- Early detection of Alzheimer's
- Alzheimer's: The forgetfulness that hurts the most