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Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Sleep Problems might be Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

Normal brain and brain with Alzheimer's

(Photo : Wikipedia) Normal brain, left, and brain of a person with Alzheimers, right

A new study from the University of Wisconsin revealed that sleep problems are linked to high levels of amyloid in brain areas related to Alzheimer's disease.

Amyloid, a sticky protein associated with numerous serious diseases, abnormally forms together as clumps inside the brain.

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These clumps turn into plaque that blocks neuron signals; cause brain cells to die and leads to inflammation. As plaques spread through the cortex, Alzheimer's disease develops.

The study focused on healthy volunteers between 50-73 years-old that completed a questionnaire about their sleeping habits and sleep quality.

Results show people that lack undisturbed sleep and proper rest have high levels of amyloid in the supramarginal and frontal medial orbital area of the brain, areas highly affected by Alzheimer's disease.

Deep sleep has always been a critical factor in a person's health. People need sleep for its major role cell repair and growth. It restores the body physically and mentally.

Lack of undisturbed sleep may cause tiredness, depression and fatigue. Over the years, numerous studies have shown the long-term positive effects of sleep on brain cells, the immune system and the heart.

This new study may lead to early prevention of Alzheimer's disease by managing proper rest and undisturbed sleep. Scientists are still considering another possible angle: high levels of amyloid deposition are causing the sleeping problems in the volunteers.

The research study was presented at the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology annual meeting in Phoenix, Arizona.

It was supported financially by the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and the Clinical and Translational Science Award Program.

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