Excessive Daytime Sleepiness Associated With Alzheimer’s Risk, Long-term Study Reports

Excessive Daytime Sleepiness Associated With Alzheimer’s Risk, Long-term Study Reports
Excessive daytime sleepiness or napping is associated with increased beta-amyloid plaques in the brain, a major characteristic of Alzheimer's disease, according to a study that followed patients for more than 15 years. The study, "Excessive daytime sleepiness and napping in cognitively normal adults: associations with subsequent amyloid deposition measured by PiB PET," was published in the journal Sleep.  Factors such as diet, exercise, and cognitive activities such as doing puzzles or crosswords are important potential targets for Alzheimer's disease prevention. Sleep, on the other hand, has not been widely associated with Alzheimer's disease. However, a lack of sleep has been linked to cognitive impairment and decline. Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the National Institute on Aging, and Johns Hopkins Medicine conducted a study aimed at better understanding if excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) and napping are markers of subsequent Alzheimer's risk. The team analyzed data from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging Neuroimaging Study — a long-term study that began in 1958 and followed the health of thousands of participants as they aged.  At the time of enrollment, participants were considered healthy. As part of the study's periodic exams, participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire (between 1991 and 2000) that included questions such as, “Do you often become drowsy or fall asleep during the daytime when you wish to be awake?" or “Do you nap?" Based on the answers, participants were characterized as having EDS or by their napping habits. The study included a subset of participants who began neuroimaging assessments in 1994, which are still ongoing. In 2005, some of these volunteers also s
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