Sleep Trouble May Warn Of Alzheimer’s
Relax; so far the studies only involve mice, but they do suggest that trouble sleeping may be the first indication that Alzheimer’s lies ahead. Researchers at Washington University learned three years ago that brain levels of a primary ingredient of the plaques associated with Alzheimer’s naturally rise when healthy young mice are awake and drop after they go to sleep. They also found that depriving the mice of sleep disrupted this cycle and accelerated the development of brain plaques. A Washington University news release reports that new research revealed that when Alzheimer’s plaques began forming in the brains of mice, their average sleep times dropped to 30 minutes per hour from their norm of 40 minutes per hour. The scientists now are now looking at whether sleep problems occur in patients who have markers of Alzheimer’s disease, such as plaques in the brain, but have not yet developed memory or other cognitive problems. Stay tuned, and read more from Washington University.