Posted by WBHI on Mar 11, 2013 in Think About It
by Véronique Lacarpa for St. Louis Public Radio:
Another study has shown a link between disrupted sleep patterns and Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers at Washington University looked at 32 people who have what’s known as “preclinical” Alzheimer’s disease. They have a marker in their spinal fluid associated with Alzheimer’s, but they still don’t have any symptoms of dementia.
Wash U neurologist and sleep specialist Yo-El Ju says when she and her colleagues compared those people to 110 healthy controls, they found the two groups slept about the same amount.
But the people with preclinical Alzheimer’s were more restless: they spent a slightly higher percentage of their time in bed unable to fall asleep.
Posted by WBHI on Jan 27, 2013 in Think About It
by Benedict Carey for The New York Times:
Scientists have known for decades that the ability to remember newly learned information declines with age, but it was not clear why. A new study may provide part of the answer.
The report, posted online on Sunday by the journal Nature Neuroscience, suggests that structural brain changes occurring naturally over time interfere with sleep quality, which in turn blunts the ability to store memories for the long term.
Previous research had found that the prefrontal cortex, the brain region behind the forehead, tends to lose volume with age, and that part of this region helps sustain quality sleep, which is critical to consolidating new memories. But the new experiment, led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, is the first to directly link structural changes with sleep-related memory problems.
Posted by WBHI on Sep 17, 2012 in Great Minds Think Alike
by Journal and Courier:
Losing the car keys or forgetting your lunch on the kitchen counter happens from time to time. But if forgetfulness happens more and more often, it may be something more.
Typically people older than 60 are at risk for dementia, said Dr. Khaled Hammoud, a neurologist with Unity Healthcare. He said dementia is rare in young people and for them, forgetfulness and a lack of focus usually is a sign of a different neurological problem.
No matter your age or how forgetful you are, there are ways to improve your memory, focus and cognitive abilities. Here, Hammoud shared key tips for keeping your brain sharp:
1. Exercise. It’s just one more way that physical activity improves health. Activities such as swimming, walking and jogging a few days a week can reduce the chance of dementia by almost 50 percent, Hammoud said.
2. Eat right. A diet that’s good for the heart is good for the brain, Hammoud said. A brain-healthy diet is low cholesterol, low fat and high in vegetables, he said.
Posted by WBHI on Sep 9, 2012 in Think Ahead
by Nursing Times:
“Bad sleep may predict Alzheimer’s,” the BBC has reported, saying that “problems sleeping may be an early sign of Alzheimer’s if a study in mice also applies to people”.
This news is based on research into the association between sleep patterns and accumulation of plaques in the brains of mice. These plaques, which are made up of clumps of small proteins in the brain, are a sign of Alzheimer’s disease. They are reported to start to form in the brain 10 to 15 years before symptoms such as memory problems appear.
The researchers investigated whether the early stages of plaque development were associated with changes to the sleeping patterns of mice. They found that as plaques began to develop, the mice spent more time awake and less time asleep.
Posted by WBHI on Aug 27, 2012 in Think It Over
by Patti Neighmond for NPR:
As we age, our sleep patterns change. We’ve all heard the complaints: “I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep!”
Some sleep experts estimate that as many as 40 percent of older adults suffer sleeping problems such as sleep apnea and insomnia. Now, researchers have found a link between disrupted sleep and cognitive decline.
Psychiatrist Kristine Yaffe of the University of California, San Francisco, runs a memory disorders clinic and studies people who are at risk of developing dementia and cognitive impairment.She says many of her older patients “either have difficulty falling asleep, waking up on and off throughout the night, or feeling tired in the day” and have to nap a lot.
Yaffe recently conducted a series of studies evaluating more than 1,300 adults older than 75, initially assessing their sleep patterns and, five years later, their cognitive abilities. She found that those with sleep-disordered breathing or sleep apnea had more than twice the odds of developing dementia years later.
Posted by WBHI on Jul 16, 2012 in Think About It, Think Twice
by Elizabeth Lopatto for Businessweek:
Older adults who have too much, too little or restless sleep have an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease, according to studies that suggest doctors note these conditions in patients for follow-up evaluations.
The research, presented today at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Vancouver, adds to increasing evidence that Alzheimer’s and other disorders have early signs that can be caught by general practitioners.
About 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s and, by 2050, that number is expected to grow to as many as 16 million, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Without a cure in sight, health experts are looking for signs that may aid in early detection of dementia or help guide care.
“This is not exquisitely specific, but you think about things that can be used in a relatively normal physician’s office setting,” said William Thies, chief medical and scientific officer for the Chicago-based Alzheimer’s Association. “It’s not a diagnosis, but it’s tracking a change where you think, gee, that’s suspicious.”
Posted by WBHI on Jun 20, 2012 in Think It Over
by Huffington Post:
Depression, anxiety and problems sleeping are linked with an increased risk of dying from stroke, a new study suggests.
Researchers from University College London found that people who had these conditions of psychological distress were more likely to die from a stroke or ischemic heart disease.
The study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, included 68,652 people who had an average age of 54.9. Nearly all the study participants were white, and slightly fewer than half were male. None of them had any sort of cardiovascular disease at the beginning of the study.
Posted by WBHI on Jun 10, 2012 in Think It Over
by Richard Gray for The Telegraph:
Two new studies that scanned the brains of people who have been sleep deprived have revealed their brains react differently when presented with choices of healthy and unhealthy food compared to those who have had adequate sleep.
The research showed that key areas of the brain related to reward were activated while activity in regions that control behaviour were inhibited.
The findings may help to explain the link between sleep deprivation and obesity.
Dr Marie-Pierre St-Onge, from Columbia University in New York who led one of the studies, said: “The results suggest that, under restricted sleep, individuals will find unhealthy foods highly salient and rewarding, which may lead to greater consumption of those foods.”
Afraid of Alzheimer’s? Start now to build up your brain.
by Valerie Nahmad Schimel for Miami Herald
Want to stay cognizant? Drive safely? Remember things? It’s all about brain health.
“Everybody ages, but it’s about healthy aging,’’ says Dr. Claes Wahlestedt, professor of psychiatry and associate dean for therapeutic innovation at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
“Dementia is extraordinarily common in the 70, 80s and 90s. Good brain health is the ability to think clearly and to continue to live your life as you have before.”
The bad news? Researchers are still unsure of exactly what causes cognitive impairment. Diagnosis is often late and treatments remain elusive. “Alzheimer’s is our main nemesis,” says Wahlestedt, who notes that dementia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are milder forms of deteriorating brain health.
The good news? Our understanding of the diseases and how to prevent them is evolving rapidly.
Posted by WBHI on Mar 23, 2012 in Think Outside The Box
by Ninoska Marcano for VOXXI
Your sleep patterns might be linked to memory loss as you age, according to a recent study by the American Academy of Neurology. This new information could prove essential in the prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease and other memory related conditions like dementia.
“Disrupted sleep appears to be associated with the build-up of amyloid plaques, a hallmark marker of Alzheimer’s disease, in the brains of people without memory problems,” said study author Yo-El Ju, MD, with Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
The study findings were simple: people who woke up more than five times per hour and those with less efficient sleeping habits, were more prone to have amyloid plaque build-up compared to people who did not wake up as often. Amyloid plaque build-up is characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease.
Twenty-five percent of people participating in the study had evidence of amyloid plaque build-up after a bad night of sleep.