Researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health recently completed a study on the possibility of a connection between lack of sleep and Alzheimer's disease. According to Time, those who get less sleep or poor quality sleep are more likely to have abnormal brain images - the first sign of the neurological issue.
The scientists' research was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and studied 70 adults in their mid-70s. The source said participants answered questions regarding sleep patterns and underwent imaging to determine the amount of beta amyloid plaque in their brains. The build up of beta amyloid is one of the signs that a patient may have Alzheimer's.
According to the source, varying levels of beta amyloid were regulated by an individual's sleep habits. Someone who gets less sleep or has trouble sleeping is likely to have higher levels of the plaque in their brain.
Scientists said lack of sleep doesn't necessarily mean one will develop Alzheimer's. However, getting quality sleep is a way to keep plaque levels low. Another study, published in the journal Science, also found that sleep helps to wash waste from the brain including amyloid proteins and helps to keep cells functioning at their most efficient level.
If your loved one has this neurodegenerative disease, Alzheimer's care may help them stay independent for as long as possible.