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Family Caregiving for Seniors - SageCorner Blog

Excessive Daytime Sleepiness May Contribute to Alzheimer ’s Disease

by Deah on Tuesday, October 9, 2018 9:49 AM

I have been seeing a lot of articles on the subject of excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) contributing to Alzheimer’s disease (AD). According to a recent article published in WebMD, feeling excessively drowsy during the day might mean you have a threefold increased risk of developing brain deposits of beta-amyloid, a protein associated with AD.* This thought makes me want to get some more ZZZZ’s!

Restful sleep is necessary to clear toxins and beta-amyloid in the brain. However, with this study findings of EDS causing an increase of beta-amyloid over a period of time in people without dementia, it presents the age old question of which came first, the chicken or the egg according to the author of the study. AD has been linked to the accumulation of beta-amyloid in the brain for some time now but their function has remained unclear. Nor could the study conclusively determine why daytime sleepiness leads to these deposits on the brain and states that much more research is needed.

Sleep has not quite risen to the status of other AD prevention factors such as diet, exercise and cognitive activity. I am one who is terribly afraid of this disease and fear my mother is showing beginning stages of AD. I watched a close friend struggle with what this disease can do while it slowly choked a quality life from his mother. We constantly encourage mother’s engagement in mentally stimulating activity, a nutritionally appropriate diet and exercise for many of her health related issues. She sleeps a lot during the day so naturally I want to talk to her about this study’s findings but I also want to be sure my own sleep patterns improve.

 

*(Study findings were published September in the journal “SLEEP”)

Author
Deah

Tips and ideas to help care for a senior loved one at home.

  

Lori Paterno, M.Ed. Has a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling From Penn State University.  She has over 20 years professional experience in Human Services, Counseling, and Education.

Lori Paterno, M.Ed. Has a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling From Penn State University.  She has over 20 years professional experience in Human Services, Counseling, and Education. 
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