Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Sleep disturbance linked to amyloid in brain areas affected by Alzheimer's disease


Healthy, elderly research participants who report being more sleepy and less rested have higher levels of amyloid deposition in regions of the brain that are affected in Alzheimer's disease, according to a report presented today at the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology annual meeting in Phoenix (Arizona). If sleep disturbance is a cause of amyloid accumulation, it may be an early target for intervention to prevent the progression of cognitive deficits in late life.

Numerous studies have shown the importance of sleep and the effect that sleep deprivation can have on our brains. Sleep apnea is associated with cognitive dysfunction across the lifespan and both untreated apnea and sleep disturbance are associated with increased cognitive dysfunction in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Evaluating physical changes in the brain and how they are related to sleep quality can help determine the extent to which sleep can provide a window on brain function and pathology.

Using positron emission tomography (PET) scanning with a tracer that visualizes deposits of amyloid, a protein that is elevated in the brains of Alzheimer's disease patients, Ruth Benca and her colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studied the relationship between sleep quality and brain amyloid levels in a group of 98 cognitively healthy volunteers, 50-73 years of age.

The subjects, who were participants in the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer's Prevention, completed questionnaires about their sleep and problems related to it. Those who reported greater sleepiness showed greater amyloid acumulation in areas of the cerebral cortex that are heavily affected in Alzheimer's disease ─ the supramarginal and frontal medial orbital areas. Higher amyloid in these regions was also linked to less restful sleep and more sleep problems.

Although it is tantalizing to speculate that the link between sleep disturbances and amyloid deposition in the brain may help us identify an early, modifiable marker for Alzheimer's disease, it is too soon to draw that conclusion. "We still need to determine whether sleep disturbance promotes amyloid deposition in the brain, or if a neurodegenerative process produces disordered sleep", commented Dr. Benca. Future work is needed to answer that question and to determine whether interventions that improve sleep can prevent brain changes that lead to Alzheimer's disease.

This research was supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health: National Institute on Aging, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, and the Clinical and Translational Science Award Program.

Public relations Contact

Susan Lambert Smith

ACNP, founded in 1961, is a professional organization of more than 700 leading scientists, including four Nobel Laureates. The mission of ACNP is to further research and education in neuropsychopharmacology and related fields in the following ways: promoting the interaction of a broad range of scientific disciplines of brain and behavior in order to advance the understanding of prevention and treatment of disease of the nervous system including psychiatric, neurological, behavioral and addictive disorders; encouraging scientists to enter research careers in fields related to these disorders and their treatment; and ensuring the dissemination of relevant scientific advances.

Beth Miller | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Researchers identify key step in viral replication
13.03.2018 | University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Physicists made crystal lattice from polaritons

20.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

20.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Thawing permafrost produces more methane than expected

20.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>