Sleep Problems Affect Decreased Brain Volume

APRIL 21, 2016
Amy Jacob
Older adults who suffer from sleep problems also experience reduced brain volume, new research finds.
The cross-sectional study demonstrated that longer sleep duration and daytime sleepiness were linked to a lower volume in the entorhinal cortex and reduced gray matter volume.
Angeliki Tsapanou, MSc reported findings at the American Academy of Neurology’s 68th Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Canada.
“According to our study, self-reported daytime sleepiness is associated with changes in gray and cortical matter volume. Furthermore, nighttime sleep duration is associated with left entorhinal volume in a large heterogeneous sample of older adults,” remarked Tsapanou.
The study included 501 adults whose sleep disturbance, snoring, sleep with shortness of breathe or with headache, sleep adequacy, and sleep somnolence were assessed through the 12-item Medical Outcomes Study Sleep Scale.
T-weighted MRI was also conducted to gain regional brain volumes and linear regression models were used to stud the relationship between sleep problems and brain volume.
According to the study results, the reduced left entorhinal volume was linked to longer sleep duration, while reduced cortical and gray matter volume were associated with increased daytime sleepiness.
It is notable to address the poor sleep correlation with reduced volume in the entorhinal cortex, which is an area that has been associated with Alzheimer’s disease – suggesting that poor sleep quality could be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers acknowledged further studies are necessary particularly by using objective sleep measures.

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