Small Study Ties Alzheimer’s-Linked Amyloid Proteins To Poor Sleep

The CBS News (6/2, Kraft) website reports that a study published in the June issue of the journal Nature Neuroscience “suggests that a good night’s sleep may play an important role in helping protect the brain against memory decline associated with Alzheimer’s.” In a study involving 26 older adults who were cognitively normal, investigators “found that a deficit in deep non-REM sleep, a sleep cycle associated with memory retention, was associated with a higher risk of buildup of brain proteins which are believed to play a role in triggering Alzheimer’s disease.” In turn, that “buildup of toxic beta-amyloid proteins in the brain then leads to further sleep deprivation.”

TIME (6/2, Park) reports that “the higher amount of amyloid and the disturbed sleep were also associated with worse performance on simple paired-word memory tests, which the researchers gave the volunteers both before and after a night’s sleep.”

HealthDay (6/2) points out that the “26 mentally healthy adults ages 70 to 79” recruited for the study “underwent brain imaging to assess plaque buildup, and were asked to remember pairs of words before and after a night’s sleep.” While participants slept “overnight, researchers measured their brain waves, and the next day they conducted MRI scans during the memory testing.”

Related Links:

— “Poor sleep may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease,” Amy Craft, CBS News, June 1, 2015.

Posted in In The News.