Bendlin group finds poor sleep associated with Alzheimer's disease

Drs. Barbara Bendlin and Kate Sprecher, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, recently led an international team in conducting the research study, “Poor sleep is associated with CSF biomarkers of amyloid pathology in cognitively normal adults.”

The study found that people who reported more sleep problems had brain characteristics that point to an increased risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. One specific characteristic is that they showed signs of more amyloid deposited in the brain; amyloid deposits in the brain are a known indicator of Alzheimer’s disease.

This means that sleep medicine could be a potential target for preventing or delaying Alzheimer’s disease, as sleep disturbance is a common, yet treatable issue for the middle-aged.

The findings of their research was written about on The New York Times’ website: “Poor Sleep Tied to Increased Alzheimer’s Risk” and also on the Men’s Health website: “How You’re Sleeping Might Be Giving You Alzheimer’s.” The study was also published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.