Sleep Disorders in the Elderly Would Favor the Dementia Processes

Most people experience changes in sleep as they get older, but a new review suggests that some older adults lose the ability to sleep in a deep and restorative way. Sleep fragmentation has been linked to various pathologies, such as depression and dementia.

Research suggests the existence of a two-way link between sleep disorders and the dementia process. This means that dementia often causes sleep problems, and sleeping poorly may in turn accelerate cognitive impairment. According to the authors, animal research suggests that deep sleep helps to 'clean' the brain of amyloid beta proteins that accumulate in people with dementia.

Obstructive sleep apnea can also accelerate the deterioration of memory and thinking, as it causes repeated pauses and starts in breathing at night and is linked to disorders such as heart disease and diabetes.

Source: [Neuron 2017; 94: 19-36]Mander BA, Winer JR, Walker MP

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