Alzheimer’s Dementia: Every health expert will tell you sleep deprivation is not healthy on both short and long terms.
When you do not give the brain and the body the rest that the require to function better, the result is always evident. Common results of poor sleep includes cognitive dysfunction, depression, stress, type II diabetes, weight gain amongst others.
A sleep deprived system can also serve as a fertile ground for Coronary diseases, Hypertension/stroke, Flu and common cold. Medics advise that every adult needs a 7-8 hours sleep daily in order to improve the body’s immune system.
Scientists have taken their research to a different level to discover that continuous deprivation of sleep is linked to Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other memory disorders.
Dr Laura Phipps of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“There is mounting evidence of a link between poor quality sleep and Alzheimer’s disease, but it is difficult to tease apart cause and effect in this relationship and determine whether sleep problems might cause Alzheimer’s brain changes or vice-versa.”
Poor sleep have been found to be earliest symptom of Alzheimer’s Dementia. Most people who suffer from the disease were noted to have experienced repeated poor sleep patterns in their middle ages.
Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative condition that affects the neurons in the brain and irreparably damages the brain.
When these neurons are affected, the brain declines in carrying out mental functions. Conditions like memory loss sets in.
Researchers found that there are high levels of Amyloid plaques and Tau proteins.
Amyloid is a substance produced in the brain and forms plagues in the brain.
Tau is a sticky substance that plagues and damages brain cells essential for learning and memory. They are the most common indicators of Alzheimer’s disease.
17 adults between 35-65 years with no cognitive or sleep problems were used for a experiment. Their night sleep was occasionally interrupted by loud beeps.
They discovered that their amyloid levels increased that night by 10%.
Dr. Yo-El Ju of Washington University in St. Louis, who led the study said:
“We were not surprised to find that tau levels didn’t budge after just one night of disrupted sleep while amyloid levels did, because amyloid levels normally change more quickly than tau levels,”
“But we could see, when the participants had several bad nights in a row at home, that their tau levels had risen.”
Ju also suggested that sleep interruptions increases brain activity which then increases the amyloid levels. On the reverse they also found that more rest helps to clear out the plagues on their own at the initial stage.
So while an interrupted sleep gives room to the clogging of the substances in the brain, a deep sleep helps to reverse the condition.
Thus the researchers are of the opinion that Alzheimer’s Dementia is enabled by habitual poor sleep patterns over the years.