Insomnia and Alzheimer's: Is There a Connection?
It’s widely known that insomnia and other sleep disorders can have a significant impact on health and increase the risk for a number of medical problems, including diabetes, depression, high blood pressure, and obesity. Now, new research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison suggests Alzheimer’s disease can be added to the list of conditions impacted by sleep disorders.
The research results, which were published in Neurology, revealed a link between sleep disorders and certain biomarkers for Alzheimer’s. Researchers evaluated sleep quality surveys and spinal fluid samples from 101 people at increased risk for Alzheimer’s. The average age of the study participants, all of whom had normal cognitive skills, was 63.
The spinal fluid samples from study participants who reported sleep problems—including daytime sleepiness and poor sleep quality—had more biomarkers for Alzheimer’s than those who did not have difficulty sleeping. The research did not uncover a correlation between sleep disorders in general, such as sleep apnea, and a greater number of Alzheimer’s biomarkers.