Too much sleep could be an early symptom of Alzheimer's

Too much sleep could be an early symptom of Alzheimer's

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.

The study

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.

Keep reading:

  • Alzheimer's and sleep quality
  • Early detection of Alzheimer's
  • Alzheimer's: The forgetfulness that hurts the most

Video: Study Finds Prolonged Sleep May Predict Dementia Risk (January 2022).