Sleeping Disorders May be Linked With Alzheimer’s: Experts

NDTV Food Desk  |  Updated: July 08, 2017 12:55 IST

Sleeping Disorders May be Linked With Alzheimer’s: Experts
  • Sleeping disorders are no more an uncommon sight.
  • Insufficient sleep is a public health problem'
  • The study says that more than five million Americans have Alzheimers
Given our busy lives nowadays, sleeping disorders are no more an uncommon sight. According to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, insufficient sleep is a 'public health problem'. Not getting enough sleep is linked with many chronic diseases and conditions-such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression. Now, as per a new study poor sleep may be linked to multiple brain changes associated with Alzheimer's disease. An international team of researchers led by scientists at the university of Wisconsin-Madison has found that people who experience poor sleep in late midlife also have brain characteristics that point to an increased risk for developing Alzheimer's disease.

The study called 'Poor sleep is associated with CSF biomarkers of amyloid pathology in cognitively normal adults' which was published in Neurology, the medical journal of American Academy of Neurology. Dr. Kate Sprecher who led the study noted, "Our findings suggest that improving sleep during mid-life could potentially reduce a person's risk of Alzheimer's disease. While it's not the case that everyone with sleep problems will develop Alzheimer's disease, sleep disturbance is a common, treatable issue for many middle-aged Americans. Sleep medicine may represent a promising, untapped toolkit for preventing or delaying Alzheimer's disease."

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The research looked at the link between sleep patterns and early indicator of Alzheimer's disease in the brain, also including amyloid plaque and tau protein levels, as well as markers of inflammation and brain-cell injury. "It's still unclear if sleep may affect the development of the disease or if the disease affects the quality of sleep. More research is needed to further define the relationship between sleep and these biomarkers," says Barbara B. Bendlin, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the United States.


The study also says that more than five million Americans have Alzheimer's dementia, a number that is expected to triple by the year 2050 without medical advancements to treat the disease.


If you have trouble sleeping, try having some sleep inducing foods like banana, a glass of warm milk, few almonds or a teaspoon of honey just before going to bed. These foods relax your muscles and tired nerves, they contain amino acid tryptophan that encourages sleep and promote the production of sleep hormone melatonin that signals your brain to switch off and rest.


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