Lack of Sleep May Increase Risk of Alzheimer's Disease
Lack of sleep may increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study published this week in JAMA Neurology. As part of the ongoing Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, 70 participants between 53 and 91 years with healthy cognitive ability underwent periodic clinical visits from 1994 to the present. Each 48-hour visit consisted of medical examinations, questionnaires, and brain scans to assess overall health and cognitive function. Participants also kept track of sleep quality. Participants who experienced shorter periods of sleep and difficulty falling asleep showed an increase in the plaques associated with the disease. Researchers believe that interventions to promote better sleep among the elderly may help slow or prevent this illness.
For more information, see PCRM’s Dietary Guidelines for Alzheimer’s Prevention.
Spira AD, Gamaldo AA, An Y, et al. Self-reported sleep and β-amyloid deposition in community-dwelling older adults. JAMA Neurol. Published online October 21, 2013.
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