Restful sleep can protect against dementia

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Restful sleep reduces the risk of dementia

Scientists from Canada have probably shown a connection between the development of Alzheimer's dementia and the appearance of a protein involved in fat metabolism (APOE).

The vast majority of dementias appear at an older age and are characterized by a gradual decline in cognitive function. In the advanced stage, it is increasingly difficult for those affected to maintain their social contacts due to the progressing memory disorder. They often forget what they said shortly before, and even relatives are no longer recognized in the advanced stage. But not only those affected suffer from it. This diagnosis of dementia is also a stressful cut in everyday life for relatives.

Symptoms that may indicate early dementia include decreased speech ability and deterioration of short-term memory. Problems with being able to orient themselves are also observed time and again. According to the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG), an estimated 1.4 million in Germany are affected by this clinical picture, of which 700,000 suffer from Alzheimer's disease.

Adequate sleep delays dementia The team led by Andrew Lim from the University of Toronto, in a study of around 700 men and women with an average age of 82 years, had also recognized that adequate and restful sleep can protect against Alzheimer's. Accordingly, none of those affected had dementia at the start of the study. As reported in the Yama magazine, genetic analyzes showed that 150 people carried a specific variant of the APOE protein, namely "Allel Epsilon 4". In turn, in 31 test persons in whom Alzheimer's was diagnosed in the course of the study, it was not only this protein variant that could be detected. Further analyzes also showed that this group woke up patients more often at night and in this connection an up to four times higher risk of dementia could be determined than in the subjects who slept well at night and demonstrably did not carry the APOE variant.

"The results could be used for new therapeutic approaches, because a mental decline in dementia can therefore be delayed by healthy sleep," said the research team in summary. Autopsies on deceased subjects "also showed an increased deposition of amyloid beta and other proteins involved in the development of dementia, the development of which is also promoted by lack of sleep". (fr)

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Video: Broken sleep heightens risk of developing Alzheimers

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