Disrupted sleep in one's 50s, 60s raises risk of Alzheimer's disease

PET brain scans of healthy older adults show that those reporting lower sleep quality through their 50s and 60s have higher levels of tau protein, a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. Previous studies link poor sleep to beta-amyloid tangles also, suggesting that protein tangles in the brain may cause some of the memory problems of AD and dementia. In addition, out-of-sync brain waves during sleep are associated with tau, providing a possible biomarker of dementia.

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