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Sleep history predicts late-life Alzheimer's pathology

Findings suggest novel, sleep-based diagnosis and treatment methods

Date:
June 18, 2019
Source:
Society for Neuroscience
Summary:
Sleep patterns can predict the accumulation of Alzheimer's pathology proteins later in life, according to a new study. These findings could lead to new sleep-based early diagnosis and prevention measures in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
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Sleep patterns can predict the accumulation of Alzheimer's pathology proteins later in life, according to a new study of older men and women published in JNeurosci. These findings could lead to new sleep-based early diagnosis and prevention measures in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's disease is associated with disrupted sleep and the accumulation of tau and proteins in the brain, which can emerge long before characteristic memory impairments appear. Two types of hippocampal sleep waves, slow oscillations and sleep spindles, are synced in young individuals, but have been shown to become uncoordinated in old age.

Matthew Walker, Joseph Winer, and colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley found a decrease in slow oscillations/sleep spindle synchronization was associated with higher tau, while reduced slow-wave-activity amplitude was associated with higher ?-amyloid levels.

The researchers also found that a decrease in sleep quantity throughout aging, from the 50s through 70s, was associated with higher levels of ?-amyloid and tau later in life. This means that changes in brain activity during sleep and sleep quantity during these time frames could serve as a warning sign for Alzheimer's disease, allowing for early preventive care.


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Materials provided by Society for Neuroscience. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Joseph R. Winer, Bryce A. Mander, Randolph F. Helfrich, Anne Maass, Theresa M. Harrison, Suzanne L. Baker, Robert T. Knight, William J. Jagust, Matthew P. Walker. Sleep as a potential biomarker of tau and β-amyloid burden in the human brain. The Journal of Neuroscience, 2019; 0503-19 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0503-19.2019

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Society for Neuroscience. "Sleep history predicts late-life Alzheimer's pathology." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 June 2019. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/06/190618102725.htm>.
Society for Neuroscience. (2019, June 18). Sleep history predicts late-life Alzheimer's pathology. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 24, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/06/190618102725.htm
Society for Neuroscience. "Sleep history predicts late-life Alzheimer's pathology." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/06/190618102725.htm (accessed May 24, 2024).

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