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:

7/28/2016
Facts and Figures, Health Care, Memory Care Best Practices and Research, Memory Care Education, News, Research
A slew of new research was discussed at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Toronto this week. Two studies suggested that a low-c...
7/21/2016
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has proposed changes to the way it pays for primary care with a focus on care management and behavioral a...
7/21/2016
Clinical Quality and Quality Care Delivery, Facts and Figures, Memory Care Best Practices and Research, Memory Care Education, News, Reports, Research
A gene variant whose carriers are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than other people may show its effects on the brain and thinking in child...
7/13/2016
C-TAC is hosting the National Summit on Advanced Illness Care – the premier event for visionaries in advanced illness care who are actively reshaping ...
7/7/2016
Advocacy, Community Awareness and Education, Core Principles, Engage, Facts and Figures, Memory Care Best Practices and Research, News, Research, Resident and Family Services
The latest draft bill from the House Appropriations Committee for funding programs in fiscal 2017 includes $73.2 billion for the Health and Human Serv...
6/29/2016
Engage, Facts and Figures, Health and Wellness, Memory Care Best Practices and Research, Memory Care Education, News, Research
Eli Lilly has worked for nearly 30 years on drugs for Alzheimer’s disease by focusing on a protein called tau but is changing its tactics in hopes for...
5/12/2016
Argentum’s Memory Care Executive Peer Group with the support of MatrixCare has commissioned a new project to recognize innovations improving resident ...
5/9/2016
Argentum’s Memory Care Executive Peer Group with the support of MatrixCare has commissioned a new project to recognize innovations improving resident ...
5/4/2016
Memory Care Best Practices and Research, Memory Care Education, Reports
The aroma of rosemary essential oil reportedly can aid people over age 65 in their ability to remember events and to complete tasks at designated time...
4/27/2016
cheatsheet, Federal Agency Activity, Health and Wellness, Managed Risk, Memory Care Best Practices and Research, Memory Care Education
The Dementia Friendly America program entered the national stage in July when it was announced at the 2015 White House Conference on Aging. DFA cre...
 
09/11/2012


Additional Resources