Zzz’s to good brain health

A good night’s rest may reduce dementia risk.

Sleep dysfunction has been linked to cognitive impairment in seniors. Researchers now found how sleep-disordered and associated intermittent hypoxia was more severe in participants with cognitive impairment. The findings were published in the journal Neurology.

“(Our) findings have major clinical implications given that sleep-disordered breathing is a common and treatable condition,” the authors write. “Indeed, studies suggest that sleep-disordered breathing treatment may partially restore cognitive impairment and slow cognitive deterioration.”

Researchers measured cognitive function of 580 participants aged 65 and older who were part of the CoLaus/PsyCoLaus study in Lausanne, Switzerland. Participants completed a sleep evaluation, HypnoLaus, and a comprehensive neuropsychological test along with providing demographic information, personal and treatment history, sleep complaints and habits.

Researchers found significantly more participants with cognitive impairment have higher sleepiness scores and a more disrupted sleep. They also had a greater risk of sleep apnea. Half of participants (291) had cognitive impairment. They had significantly more light (stage N1) and less deep (Stage N3) and rapid-eve movement sleep than those without cognitive impairment. They also had lower sleep efficiency with higher intrasleep wake than those without cognitive impairment, more sever sleep-disordered breathing with a measure of hypoxia and lower oxygen desaturation indices.

The authors note that slightly more than one-third (37.4 percent) of participants completed both cognitive testing and a sleep evaluation, so further investigation is needed before definite conclusions can be drawn about sleep and cognition.


Topics: Alzheimer's/Dementia