Skip 
Navigation Link

1215 South Walnut Ave.
Demopolis, AL 36732 mapmap

Access to Care: 800.239.2901

Aging & Geriatrics
Resources
Basic InformationLatest News
Health Tip: How Bad is Your Hearing Loss?Ageism Costs Billions in Health Care DollarsUntreated Hearing Loss Can Be Costly for SeniorsMore Americans Are Raising Their Grandkids'Stress Hormone' Tied to Worse Memory in Middle AgeFirst User-Fitted Hearing Aid ApprovedDaytime Drowsiness a Sign of Alzheimer's?Most Seniors Uninformed on Opioid UseGet Dizzy Upon Standing? It Could Be Sign of Dementia RiskMany Americans With Dementia Don't Know They Have It: StudyHow Common Is Dementia Among LGBT Seniors?1 in 9 U.S. Adults Over 45 Reports Memory ProblemsMedical Marijuana a Hit With SeniorsCost Keeps Many Americans From Getting Hearing AidsAHA: Aging LGBT Seniors a 'Major Public Health Issue'Health Tip: Recognizing Hearing Loss"Markers" of Alzheimers Do Not Doom You to DementiaSleep Apnea Rarely Investigated in Older AdultsPsychological Therapies May Help Older Adults With Chronic PainHearing Aid Use Linked to Beneficial Health OutcomesAnnual Visits May Not Increase Cognitive Impairment DetectionSleepless Nights Show Ties To Alzheimer's RiskPoor Sleep May Heighten Alzheimer's RiskPositive Age Beliefs May Protect Seniors Against DementiaYour Attitude About Aging Might Affect Odds for DementiaWhat Works Best to Keep Drivers With Dementia Off the RoadCognitive Training Aids Memory in People With Mild ImpairmentFalls More Common in Elderly With Cognitive ImpairmentGetting Active Could Help Boost Memory, Experts SayReading Aloud Can Be a Memory BoosterCAPABLE Program Saves Money for Seniors With DisabilityHome-Based Care Teams Offer Help for Those With Dementia
Questions and AnswersVideosLinksBook ReviewsSelf-Help Groups
Related Topics

Depression: Depression & Related Conditions
Elder Care

Daytime Drowsiness a Sign of Alzheimer's?

HealthDay News
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Sep 11th 2018

new article illustration

TUESDAY, Sept. 11, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Feeling drowsy during the day might mean you have an increased risk for Alzheimer's, new research suggests.

The long-term study included 123 adults with an average age of 60 when the study began. The findings showed that those who were very sleepy during the day had a nearly threefold increased risk of developing brain deposits of beta-amyloid, a protein associated with Alzheimer's disease.

The findings add to growing evidence that lack of sleep may play a role in Alzheimer's, and that getting enough sleep may be one way to reduce the risk of the memory-robbing disease, according to the researchers.

"Factors like diet, exercise and cognitive activity have been widely recognized as important potential targets for Alzheimer's disease prevention, but sleep hasn't quite risen to that status -- although that may well be changing," said study leader Adam Spira. He's an associate professor in the department of mental health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in Baltimore.

"If disturbed sleep contributes to Alzheimer's disease, we may be able to treat patients with sleep issues to avoid these negative outcomes," he added in a Hopkins news release.

It's unclear why daytime sleepiness would be associated with beta-amyloid protein accumulation in the brain, Spira said. And the study did not prove that sleep actually causes beta-amyloid to build up in the brain.

But it may be that poor sleep due to sleep apnea or other factors causes the formation of beta-amyloid through an unknown mechanism, and that these sleep disturbances also cause excessive daytime sleepiness.

"However, we cannot rule out that amyloid plaques that were present at the time of sleep assessment caused the sleepiness," Spira said.

Animal studies have shown that restricting night-time sleep can lead to more beta-amyloid protein in the brain and spinal fluid, and some human studies have linked poor sleep with greater levels of beta-amyloid in the brain.

Sleep problems are common in Alzheimer's patients, and beta-amyloid accumulation and related brain changes are thought to harm sleep.

"There is no cure yet for Alzheimer's disease, so we have to do our best to prevent it. Even if a cure is developed, prevention strategies should be emphasized," Spira said. "Prioritizing sleep may be one way to help prevent or perhaps slow this condition."

The study findings were published Sept. 5 in the journal Sleep.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Aging has more about Alzheimer's disease.