Could your lack of sleep put you at risk for Alzheimer’s disease?

by Martin Reed on 14 October 2011 in insomnia information

We’ve already written about sleep deprivation as a cause of memory loss. We’ve also shared research that found that some insomnia medications can damage your brain.

Now a new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis has found a link between a lack of sleep and Alzheimer’s disease.

Their research found that a marker for Alzheimer’s disease rises during the day and falls during sleep. The marker, known as amyloid beta, drops to its lowest point after around six hours of sleep and increases to its highest point after around six hours of being awake.

A lack of sleep therefore prevents this marker from dropping, which could increase the risk of insomniacs developing Alzheimer’s.

We’d love to see further research look at whether sleeping pills affect the rise and fall of amyloid beta. Right now it’s looking like sleep could be one of the best cures (or even preventative measures) for Alzheimer’s.

Source: Washington University in St Louis

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