Research

‘Adequate Nighttime Sleep Could Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease:’ Experts

KARACHI- A long term study suggested that, people who feel very sleepy during the day are nearly three times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those who do not.

Such people are seen to have brain deposits of beta amyloid, a protein that is a hallmark for Alzheimer’s, years later. Researchers recommend that getting sufficient amount of night-time sleep could be a way to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Associate Professor, Adam P Spira, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, indicated that, this study used data from a long-term research that started in 1958, following the health of thousands of volunteers as they aged. As part of the study’s periodic exams, volunteers filled a questionnaire between 1991 and 2000. Starting in 2005, some of these participants received positron emission tomography (PET) scans using Pittsburgh compound B (PiB), a radioactive compound that can help identify beta-amyloid plaques in neuronal tissue.

Researchers identified 123 volunteers who both answered the earlier questions and had a PET scan with PiB an average of nearly 16 years later. The data was analyzed to find any correlations between participants who reported daytime sleepiness or napping and whether they scored positive for beta-amyloid deposition in their brains.

Results revealed that, those who reported daytime sleepiness were about 3 times more likely to have beta-amyloid deposition than those who did not report daytime fatigue. After adjusting demographic factors that could influence daytime sleepiness, such as age, sex, education, and body-mass index, the risk was still 2.75 times higher in those with daytime sleepiness.

Unadjusted risk for amyloid-beta deposition was about twice as high in volunteers who reported napping, but this did not reach statistical significance.

According to Associate Professor Spira, it is currently unclear why daytime sleepiness would be correlated with the deposition of beta-amyloid protein, to which one possibility occurred indicating that daytime sleepiness itself might somehow cause this protein to form in the brain.

October 7, 2018

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