Poor Sleep Quality in Older People Linked to Early Signs of Alzheimer’s

Poor Sleep Quality in Older People Linked to Early Signs of Alzheimer’s
People 60 or older with a disrupted pattern of deep sleep — the one that helps memory formation — have a higher accumulation of the Alzheimer’s hallmark tau protein in their brains, a study reports. These findings highlight how poor-quality sleep later in life is a potential sign of brain health decline and supports the usefulness of noninvasive sleep analysis in the early detection of people at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. “What’s interesting is that we saw this inverse relationship between decreased slow-wave sleep and more tau protein in people who were either cognitively normal or very mildly impaired, meaning that reduced slow-wave activity may be a marker for the transition between normal and impaired,” Brendan Lucey, MD, an assistant professor of neurology and director of the Washington University Sleep Medicine Center and the study's first author, said in a press release. “Measuring how people sleep may be a noninvasive way to screen for Alzheimer’s disease before or just as people begin to develop problems with memory and thinking,” Lucey said. The study, “Reduced non-rapid eye movement sleep is associated with tau pathology in early Alzheimer’s disease,” was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine. Accumulation of amyloid-beta plaques and tau protein aggreg
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