Thursday, 14 December, 2017

Sleep Issues Connected To Development Of Alzheimer's?

Brain scan GETTYBrain scan Technology allowed the scientists to see inside a74-year-old's brain with Alzheimer's
Sammy Stanley | 07 July, 2017, 00:53

Those biological markers included signs of the proteins amyloid and tau and brain cell damage and inflammation.

The study compared the spinal fluid to the sleep problems that are self-reported by the participants of the study.

Trouble getting enough sleep may be linked to a bigger risk of Alzheimer's disease for some people, new research suggests. In Alzheimer's disease there are two types of abnormal proteins or neurofibrillary lesions as they are termed, in the brain. Such buildup can be harmful to the brain and cognition.

"As well as improving our understanding of diseases like Alzheimer's, knowing the precise structure of tau will help inform research into new treatments".

Scientists conducted spinal fluid tests on 101 people with an average age of 63 who had a family history of Alzheimer's or carried a gene linked to the condition.

A few studies in cognitively normal people and one in mice have shown a connection between chronic sleep disruption and the development of amyloid plaques.

Not necessarily. Bendlin said these findings can not prove that poor sleep causes Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers found that those who had more sleep problems, including worse self-reported sleep quality and daytime sleepiness, had consistently lower levels of cerebrospinal fluid.

"Not everyone with sleep problems is destined to develop Alzheimer's disease", said the senior author, Barbara B. Bendlin, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Tau forms filaments inside nerve cells and amyloid-beta forms filaments outside cells.

In the meantime, Bendlin said further research is needed to solidify the risks of sleep deprivation in increasing the risks of Alzheimer's disease.

'Our study looked not only for amyloid but for other biological markers in the spinal fluid as well. "In the deepest stage of sleep, the brain cleans itself out of plaque and other toxic materials that trigger Alzheimer's disease".

'Our findings demonstrate that the relationship between sleep and Alzheimer's disease is present in late midlife in the absence of cognitive impairment.

They're not sure what might explain the discrepancy, but they point out that they did not actually test participants for sleep apnea; they only asked people if they had it. "Sleep-disordered breathing often goes undetected by patients, and subjective reports are not reliable", they wrote.

Bendlin said it's important to identify modifiable risk factors for Alzheimer's because delaying Alzheimer's disease in people by as little as five years could reduce the number of cases in the next 30 years by almost 6 million and save $367 billion in health care costs.

"Amyloid structures can form in many different ways, so it has been unclear how close these lab versions resembled those in human disease. It may be possible that early intervention for people at risk of Alzheimer's disease may prevent or delay the onset of the disease", Dr. Endlin said in a statement.

"We're looking at groups of people, and over the whole group we find the association of poor sleep with the markers of Alzheimer's", said Bendlin.

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