New Research Unit at England’s University of East Anglia to Study Possible Link Between Sleep and Dementia

New Research Unit at England’s University of East Anglia to Study Possible Link Between Sleep and Dementia
To enable researchers to study prospective links between sleep and dementia, a cutting-edge sleep unit has opened at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich, England. While sleeping issues commonly occur in dementia, it’s unclear whether diseases such as Alzheimer’s cause the disturbances, or whether problems sleeping signal early disease onset. Scientists will test whether treating sleep problems early can help delay disease progression. ”We live in an aging society, and sleep disturbances and dementia are two significant health programs in older adults,” said lead researcher Alpar Lazar, PhD, of UEA’s School of Health Sciences, in a press release. “A symptom of Alzheimer’s is poor sleep. Good sleep is central to maintaining cognitive performance such as attention and memory, as well as general brain health. Sleep deficits have been shown to be early markers in certain brain disorders. But is it Alzheimer’s causing sleep problems, or do sleep problems modulate or contribute to the disease process?” The team’s initial study will look at whether healthy individuals who may be genetically predisposed to Alzheimer’s could be more at risk for sleep problems. Volunteers will undergo genetic and psychological screening, wear a wrist device to monitor at-home sleep and activity, and keep a sleep journal. After that, in a contemporary, hotel-like setting, they will spend three nights having every move scrutinized by sleep experts. One night must be spent either without sleep or with just several bri
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