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:

10/30/2014
The Alzheimer’s Association of America is hosting National Memory Screening Day, November 18. During the event, healthcare professionals are providing...
10/30/2014
Facts and Figures, Memory Care Best Practices and Research, Memory Care Education, Reports
Chocolate lovers rejoice – a new study found that a natural compound found in cocoa could reverse age-related memory loss. The study in Nature Neurosc...
10/21/2014
Active & Engaged Seniors, cheatsheet, Family Relations, Memory Care Best Practices and Research, Memory Care Education
Alzheimer’s is a transformative, thieving disease, robbing its targets of precious memories and much more and affecting women twice as often as men. T...
10/8/2014
Federal Agency Activity, Health and Wellness, Memory Care Best Practices and Research, Memory Care Education
The National Institutes of Health announced a set of investments totaling $46 million to support the goals of the BRAIN initiative, a large-scale effo...
10/1/2014
Age is the biggest risk factor for forgetfulness – and this can be perfectly normal, says Dr. Thomas Loepfe, a geriatrician with the Mayo Clinic Healt...
9/23/2014
Best of the Best Awards, Engage, Memory Care Best Practices and Research
ALFA’s Best of the Best Awards recognize innovative products, services and programs advancing excellence in senior living, including independent livin...
9/23/2014
Learn more about crafting a state plan to address Alzheimer’s disease through a free webinar discussion of the new white paper, From Plan to Practice:...
9/2/2014
End of Life, Federal Agency Activity, Health and Wellness, Managed Risk, Memory Care Best Practices and Research
The Food and Drug Administration has announced it plans to take concerted efforts to improve the collection and availability of clinical trial data on...
9/2/2014
Memory Care Best Practices and Research, Memory Care Education, Reports
Training in “mindfulness,” which is learning how to focus on the present moment, could help improve the emotional wellbeing of those with early-stage ...
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...
 
09/11/2012


Additional Resources