The daytime sleepiness may be a sign of Alzheimer’s in the future, according to a study published in the journal JAMA Neurology. This statement is based on a survey of more than 2900 people at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, United States.
Is daytime drowsiness an Alzheimer’s sign?
“Excessive daytime sleepiness was associated with an increased accumulation of amyloid in elderly people without dementia,” the doctors said in the study’s summary . “This suggests that people with excessive daytime sleepiness may be more vulnerable to pathological changes associated with Alzheimer’s.”
The role of amyloid
Amyloid is the protein that, in Alzheimer’s, accumulates in the brain and strangles nerve cells. During sleep, the brain removes amyloid deposits, so if there is not a good rest, this protein builds up. In this line, the scientists confirmed that people who reported daytime drowsiness had more amyloid deposits than those who did not report this symptom.
“Early identification of patients with daytime sleepiness and treatment of sleep disorders could reduce the accumulation of amyloid in vulnerable groups,” the authors write. In this factor lies the importance of the discovery: to prevent Alzheimer’s, knowing its signs.
The value of sleep
Sleep cycles, scientifically called circadian rhythms, affect many areas of life. When you do not sleep well, it not only accumulates more amyloid: you also disrupt the production of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, which affects your mood.
In addition to its role against Alzheimer’s, sleeping well favors concentration, keeps metabolism in order, promotes creativity, fights depression and is beneficial in preventing heart disease.