New Study Links Insomnia to Alzheimer’s

sleepingNew research now links sleep problems with Alzheimer’s disease.  According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than five million Americans live with Alzheimer’s.
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Cleveland Clinic’s Stephen Rao (pronounced Ray-Oh) did not participate in the new study but says results suggest people who have trouble sleeping may be at an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s later in life.
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CG: Stephen Rao, PhD /Cleveland Clinic:  “The basic finding is that the more disturbance of sleep that people reported, the more likely that they were going to have pathology in their spinal fluid that related to Alzheimer’s disease.” [:15]
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RESEARCHERS SURVEYED JUST OVER ONE-HUNDRED PEOPLE AT HIGH RISK OF DEVELOPING ALZHEIMER’S WHO HAD NORMAL THINKING AND MEMORY ABILITIES.
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PARTICIPANTS WERE ASKED ABOUT THEIR SLEEP QUALITY AND ALSO PROVIDED A
SPINAL FLUID SAMPLE.
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RESULTS SHOW THAT PEOPLE WHO REPORTED HAVING SLEEP PROBLEMS HAD MORE
BIOLOGICAL MARKERS FOR ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE IN THEIR SPINAL FLUID THAN FOLKS WHO DID NOT REPORT SLEEP PROBLEMS.
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DOCTOR RAO NOTES THAT WHILE THE STUDY SHOWS A LINK BETWEEN SLEEP
AND ALZHEIMER’S IT’S A BIT OF A CHICKEN AND EGG SCENARIO, IN THAT DOCTORS AREN’T SURE WHAT COMES FIRST.  THE ALZHEIMER’S OR THE SLEEP PROBLEMS.
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HE SAYS MORE RESEARCH NEEDS TO BE DONE TO BE SURE.
CG: Stephen Rao, PhD/Cleveland Clinic:  “We don’t know what the chicken or egg cause is here, it may very well be that sleeping longer will help us to prevent us from developing or slow down the process of Alzheimer’s disease but we certainly  don’t have the definitive answer as yet.”
Complete results of this study can be found online in the Journal NEUROLOGY. [:10]
 newsmd1 Maria Dorfner

MY OPINION:  

“A multitude of factors may cause insomnia, but I bet the primary cause is your choice of food or beverage before turning in. Technology is a biggie, but if you’re sleepy you won’t want to look at your phone or computer.

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Your brain requires healthy food and beverages to stay sharp and sleep well.

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Numerous foods and beverages are already proven to disrupt sleep including high-fat foods, soda, chocolate, caffeine, heavy spicy foods, alcohol 4 to 6 hours before bedtime, meat and high protein intake. Even prescription and over-the-counter cold medications may contain caffeine.  Let’s also not rule out tobacco usage.

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Healthy foods that promote sleep include nuts, seeds, eggs, bananas and a few crackers & cheese.  Water no later than 8 p.m. is a healthy go-to beverage.

Daily exercise also helps you sleep well.

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I’d love to see “further studies” include two groups of people “at risk” for developing Alzheimer’s: 1. sedentary people who eat and drink disruptive foods and beverages, use tobacco and take prescription medications 2) compared to people that exercise daily, eat and drink healthy foods and beverages and do not take OTC or prescription medications or use tobacco.

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Then, compare how well these two different groups sleep, along with their biological markers for Alzheimer’s disease.

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Bottom line:  Missing piece to this puzzle may be finding out what causes sleep problems.  I posit people more at risk have unhealthy habits leading to sleeplessness.

Remember, you have the power to change your daily habits and choices.

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It’s time to research and study causes, so people can practice prevention instead of seeking treatment for symptoms, or worse believing the symptom is a cause. ”

-Maria Dorfner

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NATIONAL MEDIA:   See Pathfire #: 10826 dated July 5, 2017 for soundbites/voiceover
contact:  maria.dorfner@yahoo.com