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How Not Enough Deep Sleep May Lead to Alzheimer’s

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Poor sleep, whatever the cause, can lead to cognitive issues such as delayed reactions, thinking issues, and poor memory. According to leading providers of Alzheimer’s care in Jefferson County, it has also been common knowledge in the medical field that many individuals with Alzheimer’s disease also have sleep disorders. It was once thought that individuals with Alzheimer’s suffered from sleep disorders because the condition affected the parts of the brain that regulated sleep, but more involved studies have found reasons to believe differently. 

Scientists at the Washington University School of Medicine conducted a study in 2009 that found the amyloid plaques linked to Alzheimer’s in higher quantities in sleep-deprived mice, and another study discovered how cerebrospinal fluid recirculates back into the brain during sleep to cause a cleansing effect. This cleansing effect is especially important because the brain removes toxins that cause Alzheimer’s during this process.

Washington University’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center conducted another similar study using human participants to support the previous findings. The study was made up of 145 volunteers between the age of 45 to 75 years old with no cognitive issues who were tested for any markers of Alzheimer’s disease. Of the participants, 32 individuals held indicators in their spinal fluid. Participants in the study kept sleep diaries for two weeks, keeping detailed accounts of bedtimes, naps, and more. It was determined at the end of the study that the 32 participants who had markers of Alzheimer’s disease slept more poorly than the individuals that didn’t. 

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, please know you, your loved one, and your family don’t have to face the future alone. Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of elderly care in Jefferson County, offers help and support for seniors who wish to age in place. Our expertly trained caregivers can provide transportation, meal preparation, mobility support, and much more. Call (303) 987-5992 and request a complimentary in-home consultation to learn more.