Sleep disturbance linked Alzheimer's

11 December 2014

Healthy, elderly research participants who are less rested show higher levels of amyloid deposition in regions of the brain that are affected in Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study.

The report, presented at the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, suggests that, if sleep disturbance causes amyloid accumulation, it could direct new treatments to prevent the progression of cognitive deficits in late life.

Previous studies have shown that sleep is important for proper neurological health, with sleep apnea being linked to cognitive dysfunction. The new research used positron emission tomography (PET) to visualise deposits of amyloid, which is a key protein that is especially high in the brains of Alzheimer's disease patients.

A team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studied the relationship between sleep quality and brain amyloid levels in a group of 98 cognitively healthy volunteers. The participants filled out questionnaires about their sleep and any related problems.

Those who reported being sleepy showed higher levels of amyloid accumulation in areas of the cerebral cortex that are heavily affected in Alzheimer's disease.

Posted by Jeanette Royston​


Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:


Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.


Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...



© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)