Nav: Home

Study links sleep disturbances and Alzheimer's among Hispanics

October 09, 2019

(Miami, FL) Sleep disturbances among Hispanics may increase their risk of cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study led by a University of Miami Miller School neurologist and sleep expert.

"Insomnia, and prolonged sleep duration appear to be linked to a decline in neurocognitive functioning that can precede the onset of Alzheimer's disease or other dementias," said Alberto R. Ramos, M.D.MSPH, Associate professor of neurology. "This finding is particularly important because Hispanics have a significantly higher risk of Alzheimer's disease compared with non-Hispanic whites."

Dr. Ramos was the lead author of the collaborative study, "Sleep and Neurocognitive Decline in the Hispanic Community Health Study / Study of Latinos" published on October 9 in Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association. The multi-center research team analyzed participants in the nationwide Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos, which includes approximately 16,000 Latinos from diverse backgrounds at four major urban centers located in Chicago, Miami, San Diego and the Bronx in New York City.

"We followed 5,247 participants between 45 and 75 years old, giving them a neurocognitive test at the start and repeating the test seven years later," said Dr. Ramos.

"We observed that prolonged periods of sleep and chronic insomnia symptoms led to declines in memory, executive function and processing speed. Those measures can precede the development of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease."

Funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the groundbreaking epidemiological study also included measures of sleep apnea, which has been linked to impaired cognition. "No previous studies used data from a representative sample of U.S. Hispanic/Latinos for these multiple types of sleep disturbances," said Dr. Ramos.

Dr. Ramos said the findings provide a foundation for building awareness among physicians that sleep disturbances may be linked to neurocognitive decline, particularly in Hispanic patients. "We may also be able to identify at-risk patients who may benefit from early intervention to prevent or reduce the risk of dementia," he said.

Future research may involve quantifying the potential synergistic effect of sleep disorders with cerebrovascular disease as a pathway to neurocognitive decline. Dr. Ramos added, "We may also want to look at individual's circadian rhythms or internal clocks, as well as genetic studies that can clarify the relationships of sleep disorders with neurocognitive decline."
-end-


University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Related Dementia Articles:

Latest issue of Alzheimer's & Dementia
Predicting heart disease might also be a warning sign for Alzheimer's; A new way to think about the environment and Alzheimer's research; Most dementia patients don't receive care from physicians who specialize in brain health.
What multilingual nuns can tell us about dementia
A strong ability in languages may help reduce the risk of developing dementia, says a new University of Waterloo study.
Brain changes may help track dementia, even before diagnosis
Even before a dementia diagnosis, people with mild cognitive impairment may have different changes in the brain depending on what type of dementia they have, according to a study published in the September 11, 2019, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Could marriage stave off dementia?
Dementia and marital status could be linked, according to a new Michigan State University study that found married people are less likely to experience dementia as they age.
Migraine diagnoses positively associated with all-cause dementia
Several studies have recently focused on the association between migraine headaches and other headaches and dementia and found a positive migraine-dementia relationship.
Apathy: The forgotten symptom of dementia
Apathy is the most common neuropsychiatric symptom of dementia, with a bigger impact on function than memory loss -- yet it is under-researched and often forgotten in care.
Dementia looks different in brains of Hispanics
A major new study from the UC Davis Alzheimer's Center has uncovered dramatic differences in the brains of Hispanics with a dementia diagnosis compared with those of non-Hispanic whites and of African Americans.
No association between antiepileptic drug use and dementia
Epilepsy is a common neurological condition with a prevalence of around 2 percent.
Correlation of stroke and dementia with death: A study from the Swedish dementia registry
Patients who died of IS the most common type of dementia was vascular dementia while those died from other causes were most often diagnosed with Alzheimer's dementia (AD).
Military risk factors for dementia
In recent years, there has been growing discussion to better understand the pathophysiological mechanisms of traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder and how they may be linked to an increased risk of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease in veterans.
More Dementia News and Dementia Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#538 Nobels and Astrophysics
This week we start with this year's physics Nobel Prize awarded to Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor, and Didier Queloz and finish with a discussion of the Nobel Prizes as a way to award and highlight important science. Are they still relevant? When science breakthroughs are built on the backs of hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- of people's hard work, how do you pick just three to highlight? Join host Rachelle Saunders and astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Ethan Siegel for their chat about astrophysics and Nobel Prizes.