Excessive Sleep Might Be A Sign Of Alzheimer’s Disease

Old man sleeping

Those who suddenly start sleeping to much might have a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Although sleep is vital, recent research has shown that excessive sleeping may indicate a higher likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. These two degenerative brain disorders cause cognitive decline and memory loss up to a point where the patients can no longer perform simple tasks.

Both conditions occur due to physical changes in the affected brain. According to the statistics, Alzheimer’s disease accounts for between sixty and eighty percent of all cases of dementia. A group of experts from the Boston University School of Medicine has conducted an extensive study which lasted for a decade.

During this time, the researchers monitored the sleeping patterns of the participants to establish whether there was a connection between the risk of dementia and sleep duration. At the end of the research, the scientists didn’t identify an elevated risk of dementia among the participants who had slept at least nine hours a night for over 13 years.

Nevertheless, they found that the subjects who recently began to sleep over nine hours a night were more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. More precisely, these participants had a twenty percent higher likelihood of developing this brain disorder.

In addition, they also had smaller brain sizes. Matthew Pase, the lead author of the study, says that excessive sleep shouldn’t be regarded as a potential cause of Alzheimer’s disease, but a sign which might reveal that the brain is experiencing unusual chemical changes. Besides this, there is the possibility that those who are developing dementia may experience fatigue.

Although the latest study hasn’t discovered a cause-and-effect link between sleep duration and Alzheimer’s disease, the researchers note that the people who report their sleeping patterns to their doctors may have a better chance at preventing the onset of this devastating brain condition.

Pase adds that the health specialists should screen the patients for any sleeping problems in order to early detect cognitive decline. Plus, seniors who become excessive sleepers, experience memory loss and thinking problems should constantly be monitored.

Besides excessive sleep, there are other warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Last year, the scientists discovered that people who experience long-term or sudden changes in mood, personality, and behavior are more likely to suffer from cognitive decline.

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