The study showed a relationship between a few hours of sleep and the emergence of biomarkers associated with Alzheimer’s disease
A study conducted by the Pasqual Maragall Foundation, the Barcelonaβeta Center for Brain Research (BBRC), in partnership with researchers at the University of Bristol, revealed that poor sleep and poor rest are associated with a greater chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease. This means that even without any cognitive impairment, the risk increases.
The team used data from the largest cohort to date, the Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease Longitudinal Cohort Study (EPAD LCS). With this, the researchers were able to validate the hypothesis that sleep deprivation is associated with biomarkers of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This, in turn, predicts an increased chance of developing the disease in the future in people who do not have symptoms of dementia.
The team analyzed data from 1,168 adults over the age of 50. Cross-sectional analyzes revealed that poor sleep quality is significantly associated with increased t-tau protein in the cerebrospinal fluid. Among other findings, short sleep duration of less than seven hours per night was shown to be associated with higher values of p-tau and t-tau, which are key biomarkers for measuring Alzheimer’s risk in the preclinical stage of the disease. ..
“Our results reinforce the hypothesis that disrupted sleep may be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. For this reason, future research is needed to test the efficacy of preventive practices. They are in turn designed to improve sleep in the presymptomatic period.” Alzheimer’s,” said Laura Stanquicheut, a pre-doctoral researcher at the BBRC and one of the study’s lead authors.
Sleep abnormalities are common in Alzheimer’s disease. Sleep quality may decline early in the preclinical stage of the disease, even in the absence of other symptoms. Understanding how and when sleep deprivation contributes to the development of Alzheimer’s disease is important for the design and implementation of future treatments. This indicates the importance of the study.
“The epidemiological and experimental data available to date do indeed suggest that sleep disturbances contribute to the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. However, previous studies were limited by the lack of biomarkers of the disease. This was due to their non-sectional design, or due to the small sample size of the participants,” he said. This is the first study to include all of these factors, says Stankevichute, who adds that this is the first study to include all of these factors.
The importance of sleep
According to the neurologist at the Israelita Albert Einstein Hospital, sleep has always been beneficial to the human brain. “The fewer hours we sleep, the more brain damage can occur,” he says. He notes that the risk is greater for younger people, because non-restorative sleep inhibits brain maturation, which usually occurs until the age of 25. Consequences appear only in the advanced stage of life.
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