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admin | Sleep Apnea Mask | 02.12.2014
Older adults who sleep less show evidence of a more rapid decline in cognitive performance, according to a study by Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore.
SINGAPORE: The less older adults sleep, the faster their brains age, according to a study released on Tuesday (July 1) by the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore.
The findings were based on a 10-year-long study of 66 older Chinese adults aged 55 years and above.
Past research has shown that faster brain ventricle enlargement is a market for cognitive decline and the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Duke-NUS said. The School said the findings are relevant given Singapore's rapidly ageing society, and hopes the study paves the way for future work on sleep loss and its contribution to cognitive decline, including dementia. Researchers have been working for decades to unravel the secrets of Alzheimer’s disease, a type of dementia that seems to be linked to the buildup of certain proteins, called A? and tau, in the brain.
The research team wondered if sleep, which is so important for memory, might also be involved. The researchers recruited 26 adults between the age of 65 and 81 who didn’t have any signs of Alzheimer’s or sleep problems.
The found that people who had more A? in their brain had more problems getting their brain into the right kind of sleep to store memories. This study emphasizes how important sleep is when we talk about memory and points to the central role it might play in Alzheimer’s.


THIS WEBSITE IS FOR INFORMATIONAL AND ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS, OR TREATMENT. By looking into their structural MRI brain scans, which measure brain volume and neuropsychological assessments, and factoring in the hours of sleep they recorded, the researchers found that those who slept fewer hours showed evidence of faster ventricle enlargement and decline in cognitive performance. Sleep seems to be the brain’s way of reviewing what it experienced and organizing it so that it can find it later. They saw that A? gathered both in the hippocampus where it was seen in the past and in the frontal lobe of the brain where long-term memory storage happened. The hope is that these findings might spur new ways of thinking about the cause of Alzheimer’s and ways to try and treat it. Without sleep, the brain doesn’t have a chance to scan through the information, pick out the important stuff and store it, which means it has a harder time remembering things when asked to do so later on. A person might start sleeping at odd hours of the day or have trouble staying asleep all night. They used all of this information to see which people had more Alzheimer’s protein in their brain and whether that was related to how they slept and how their brain stored and retrieved memories. This meant that a person’s memory took two hits as it started to suffer from Alzheimer’s: a person would lose the kind of sleep they needed to store memories and the proper functioning of the brain areas involved in forming memories.
If you notice that an older loved on has had a dramatic change in the way they’re sleeping, it might be wise to have them assessed.


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Their research has revealed that the sleep problems experienced by many of those with Alzheimer’s are playing a key role both in memory issues and in the progress of the disease.
It’s the main place where experiences are assessed and picked for holding for the short-term.
This can show up as changes in brain waves during a person’s sleep even before they start to notice actual sleep troubles. These findings tied into other research showing that poor sleep might even increase the amount of A? in a person’s brain, leading to a deadly spiral of worse sleep causing more protein buildup causing worse sleep. The researchers wondered if these constant sleep disruptions might add to the damaging process of Alzheimer’s to block memory even more. An area called the medial prefrontal cortex located in the middle part of the front of the brain is involved in taking important short-term memories and storing them for the long term.



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