Sleeplessness Tied to Early Alzheimer's, Washington University School of Medicine Study

Published: Feb 16, 2012

Poor-quality sleep may have worse effects than simple fatigue: A preliminary new study suggests it's linked to the buildup of brain plaques seen in people with Alzheimer's disease. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis monitored the sleep patterns of 100 mentally healthy people between the ages of 45 and 80 -- half of whom had a family history of Alzheimer's disease -- and found that those who awakened more than five times an hour were more likely to have amyloid plaque accumulations than those with fewer sleep disturbances.

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