Barely a week goes by that there isn’t a new study that helps to demystify and explain the causes and effects of Alzheimer’s disease. Recently UC Berkeley scientists have found evidence that indeed poor sleep and a lack thereof may contribute to a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
“Our findings reveal a new pathway through which Alzheimer’s disease may cause memory decline later in life,” said UC Berkeley neuroscience professor Matthew Walker, senior author of the study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.
The good news about the findings, Walker said, is that poor sleep is potentially treatable and can be enhanced through exercise, behavioral therapy and even electrical stimulation that amplifies brain waves during sleep, a technology that has been used successfully in young adults to increase their overnight memory.
“This discovery offers hope,” Walker said. “Sleep could be a novel therapeutic target for fighting back against memory impairment in older adults and even those with dementia.”
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