UCI MIND faculty member, Dr. Ruth Benca, and her colleagues at the University of Wisconsin, published a paper in Neurology yesterday on the link between sleep quality and risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. The study included 101 cognitively healthy older adults believed to be at an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease based on self-reported family history or presence of the APOE e4 risk gene. Participants answered questions about their sleep quality and underwent a lumbar puncture, or spinal tap, so that Dr. Benca and her team could analyze biological changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease using cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). What they found was that participants who reported problems with sleep more frequently showed evidence of Alzheimer’s disease pathology in their CSF compared to participants who reported no problems with sleep. These findings are consistent with previous epidemiological and brain imaging studies in humans and animals that suggest an association between sleep disorders and risk for Alzheimer’s disease. More research is needed to better understand this relationship, and Dr. Benca plans to lead similar studies at UCI MIND in the near future. To stay informed of new clinical studies at UCI now and in the future, register for the UCI Consent-to-Contact (C2C) Registry at c2c.uci.edu.
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