Loading Please wait, logging in.
Join ALFA Member Login RSS Feed
Tagline Image
Bookmark and Share  

Study Indicates Sleep Problems May Be Early Sign Of Alzheimer’s

A new animal study out of the Washington University School of Medicine indicates that disruptions in an individual’s sleep-wake cycle may be an early indicator of Alzheimer’s disease.

Scientists measured amyloid plaques, one of the defining brain abnormalities associated with Alzheimer’s disease, in mice that were genetically altered to develop these Alzheimer’s plaques as they age. Researchers found that when the first indicators of these plaques began to appear, mice began experiencing a change in their sleep patterns. Mice generally sleep 40 minutes during every hour of daylight, but when the plaques began forming the mice averaged just 30 minutes of sleep during every hour of daylight. In aging mice that did not develop Alzheimer’s plaques, no change in sleep patterns was observed.

“If sleep abnormalities begin this early in the course of human Alzheimer’s disease, those changes could provide us with an easily detectable sign of pathology,” says senior author David M. Holtzman, MD, the Andrew B. and Gretchen P. Jones Professor and head of Washington University’s Department of Neurology. “As we start to treat Alzheimer’s patients before the onset of dementia, the presence or absence of sleep problems may be a rapid indicator of whether the new treatments are succeeding.”

More research will be needed to establish a cause and effect relationship or prove this correlation in humans, but previous studies have found that amyloid levels and plaques behave similarly in both humans and mice.

Read more about the Alzheimer's disease study, including an audio overview of the findings.

 
Suggested Articles:

8/19/2014
Hearings, Memory Care Best Practices and Research, Memory Care Education
The Senate Special Committee on Aging ventured outside of Washington, DC to hold a field hearing “”Alzheimer’s Disease: A Big Sky Approach to a Nation...
8/19/2014
Active & Engaged Seniors, Ageism, Disabilities, Health and Wellness, Memory Care Best Practices and Research
It was a man named Henry, confined to a wheelchair, slumping and inactive that changed Michael Rossato-Bennett’s life, and in turn the lives of many o...
8/13/2014
Accreditation group CARF International is asking for input on its proposed new and revised standards for aging services dementia care specialty progra...
7/22/2014
cheatsheet, Memory Care Best Practices and Research, Memory Care Education, Partnerships, Property Management, Reports
Residents, staff and family help make a senior living community the special place it is, but the design of a building inside and out can be just as im...
7/22/2014
The Administration for Community Living, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of...
7/22/2014
Mayor of Boston Martin Walsh announced a new Boston Alzheimer’s initiative, becoming the first large city to join the national Alzheimer’s Workplace A...
7/15/2014
California’s 2014-2015 fiscal year budget includes $820,000 of federal funds and legislative authority to implement a three-year Administration on Agi...
7/9/2014
Facts and Figures, Health Care, Memory Care Best Practices and Research, Reports
Smokers are 45% more likely to develop dementia than non-smokers, according to new information published by the World Health Organization in concert w...
7/1/2014
Federal Agency Activity, Health and Wellness, Memory Care Best Practices and Research, Memory Care Education
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released a set of materials designed to facilitate conversations with older Americans about brain...
6/25/2014
End of Life, Health and Wellness, Memory Care Best Practices and Research, Memory Care Education, Reports
About 80% of survey responders from 12 countries said Alzheimer’s is the condition they most fear experiencing, after cancer. In some countries such a...
 
09/11/2012


Additional Resources